A British Royal Air Force (RAF) A400M Atlas transport aircraft operating in the Falkland Islands is conducting a series of long-range resupply flights for the British research program in Antarctica. It confirms in video and beautiful images how the first operation was.
The Atlas aircraft, currently based at Mount Pleasant Complex as part of Flight 1312, is flying this annual defense mission in support of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
2/2 …and with its range extended by Air-to-Air Refuelling from a @RoyalAirForce Voyager, the mission has demonstrated the strength of partnership across Government and the Global Reach of RAF Air Mobility. @BFSouthAtlantic #RAFAirMobility pic.twitter.com/5fcX2lLm2e
— RAF Air Mobility Force (@AirMobilityRAF) January 23, 2023
This is the first time an RAF Atlas aircraft from the Air Mobility Force at RAF Brize Norton Base has been used for this task. Previous resupply missions were carried out by C-130 Hercules aircraft.
The missions for the current year are being transferred from the Falkland Islands to the Sky Blu Drop Zone, which is near the BAS Sky Blu Forward Operating Station. Mount Pleasant is 1,320 nautical miles from this base, which is located at 75 degrees south latitude in Southern Palmer Land, Antarctica.
The mission this year is expected to deliver 300 drums of fuel. Three successful airdrops have been completed, with more missions planned, which will be completed over the next few days, depending on the weather. The Atlas sorties are being supported by a Voyager KC3 tanker, also part of Flight 1312, flown by crews from 10 and 101 Squadrons.
“We are pleased to begin delivering the supplies requested by BAS during Operation Austral Endurance,” said Wing Commander Papa, Commanding Officer of Expeditionary Air Wing 905. “The tenacity and flexibility of our Flight 1312 and 47 crew ( Air Despatch) Squadron Royal Logistic Corps means we are able to carry out this extremely challenging mission in one of the most hostile environments in the world.”
The logistics chain for the UK science mission in the region has been streamlined thanks to the transfer of RAF supplies to BAS. The Air Mobility Force of the Royal Air Force can be deployed anywhere in the world in support of UK humanitarian or military activities. This assignment gives them a chance to practice inserting long-range provisions for extended periods.