An Airbus Military KC-30A tanker in testing for the Royal Australian Air Force suffered damage during a refueling exercise with the Portuguese air force, with both aircraft sustaining damage.
The tanker was participating in a series of F-16 refuelings when the incident occurred. More than a dozen refuelings had taken place when the incident occurred.
Details of what transpired are still under review, but they led to the refueling boom on the Airbus A330-based tanker breaking off and falling into the Atlantic. The F-16 also was damaged. Both aircraft returned safely to their respective bases.
Spanish authorities will lead the incident investigation, with Australian officials involved.
So far, Airbus Military does not expect any impact on the first delivery of the tanker to its lead customer, the Royal Australian Air Force. That handover is already behind, although Airbus CEO Tom Enders said this week the milestone was imminent.