Metrea Announces Acquisition of French Air & Space Force Tanker Fleet

PR Newswire
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 9:00am UTC

Metrea Announces Acquisition of French Air & Space Force Tanker Fleet

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Metrea announced that it has completed the acquisition of the French Air and Space Forces (FASF) KC-135 aerial refueling fleet. In an agreement signed on 17 May 2024, Metrea has agreed to acquire all fourteen of the FASF KC-135 tankers, including both the KC-/C-135FR and KC-/C-135RG variants. The FASF is divesting this fleet as they transition to A330-based tankers.

"With this acquisition, Metrea is putting even more 'skin in the game' to ensure that we have the necessary fleet capacity to provide our partners with the commercial aerial refueling support they require for training, exercises, and force movement," said Jon "Ty" Thomas, Head of Metrea's Air & Space Group. "As the only provider of KC-135 commercial refueling, we ensure that US, allied, and partners forces can train as they are very likely to operate in a contingency — refueling behind KC-135 tankers which remain far and away the most prevalent AAR tanker in service today and for the foreseeable future."

The acquisition includes an initial tranche of 11 KC-/C-135FR, which were transferred to Metrea on 26 June 2024, and a second tranche of 3 KC-135RG, which will be transferred at a future date to be determined. The additional aircraft join Metrea's current fleet of 4 KC-135Rs, previously purchased from the Singapore government. With this acquisition, Metrea now has the world's largest commercial aerial refueling fleet and presents a tanker fleet larger than all but four sovereign countries.

"At Metrea, we are pleased to continue the employment of these KC-135s which served the French armed forces for over 60 years," said Thomas. "These aircraft were maintained to the highest standard while in French service and we will continue to do the same as we put them to work as commercial assets. We are excited to show that even more commercial AAR can now be provided to receiver units that need our support."

Metrea is the only company to own and operate a fleet of KC-135 aircraft, offering an air-to-air refueling service that seamlessly, safely, and professionally integrates into military aviation training and operations. Metrea is currently on contract with US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for commercial aerial refueling support of US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force and NATO/Allied nations. The combined Metrea aviation units have flown over 130,000 hours, across multiple aircraft types, missions, and geographies in support of US, UK, and other allied and partner government national security objectives. Metrea's tanker aircraft are equipped with two wing-mounted Multi-Point Refueling System (MPRS) pods which facilitate refueling with probe equipped Navy, Marine Corps and partner nation aircraft. To request commercial AAR support, contact

Over the preceding year, Metrea has further broadened the use of commercial aerial refueling through multiple historic "firsts" in 2023:

  • April 2023 - Metrea conducted the first-ever commercial boom aerial refueling.
  • June 2023 - Metrea conducted the first-ever commercial aerial refueling of US Air Force aircraft.
  • October 2023 - Metrea conducted the first-ever commercial aerial refueling of US Air Force fighter aircraft, refueling USAF A-10's.

About Metrea

Metrea provides effects-as-a-service to national security partners in five domains and over a dozen mission-centric solution areas, including airborne ISR, electronic warfare, secure communications, aerial refueling, special mission aviation, and advanced simulation.

Metrea is headquartered in Washington, DC with facilities across the United States, the United Kingdom, and the EU.


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