Since 2014, EATC has run the European Air Refuelling Training. For two weeks each year, EART is in the limelight of the air-to-air refuelling community. Nations have their crews trained in Eindhoven, under the supervision of and peer-reviewed by EATC air-to-air refuelling experts.

#1 Grasp some facts and figures from five EART editions!

36 air crews

108 trained crew members

6 nationalities

28 mentors

4 different types of tankers

203 executed training missions

600 flying hours

4.537.000 kg offloaded fuel


#2 Why EART makes a difference?

When EATC accepted the challenge from EDA back in 2014 to run the EART trainings, choices needed to be made.

The right decisions made EART prevail as an embedded and unique rendezvous for the tanker community:
  • training over a two-weeks period long;
  • training of air crews together with ground crews;
  • invitation to non-EATC nations to participate in EART;
  • EART tanker training is combined with a large fighter exercise;
  • offer training missions within a multinational realistic and complex framework;
  • applying lessons learned from operations into the training programme;
  • putting emphasis on effectiveness, standardization and interoperability.


#3 What will the future be like?

EATC avails itself of an integrated and strong EART concept. But of course EATC is not resting on its laurels. We are continuously developing our achievements by applying lessons learned from operations and responding to the needs of our nations.

EATC is striving to become a center of expertise for air-to-air refuelling and intends to offer to the nations a toolbox to plug an EART training into any large fighter exercise in Europe. This toolbox is planned to be operational in 2019.

The training, EART offers, becomes more and more important as the air space gets smaller and formations need to be compressed. In this respect EATC is studying possibilities to offer in 2019 a double-phased EART training : a basic training followed by an advanced training. The advanced technics will include for instance the tanker formation cell with three multinational tankers in formation, long endurance missions or night air-to-air refuelling.

With the introduction of the new generation tanker fleet, the A400M and the A330 MRTT, the seven EATC member nations become committed with air-to-air refuelling capabilities. Of course this growing commitment needs to go hand in hand with EATC’s level of ambition. EATC has already written a variety of A400M concepts for the benefit of and in close coordination with our A400M-user nations, including of course the harmonisation of training processes.

Our nations’ needs are of utmost importance and we align EART training objectives accordingly or provide our nations with concepts and thoughts as to how to proceed in the future. One interesting idea we are currently investigating regards “tanker air hubs” increasing performance level of the nations’ air-to-air transport capabilities.

The future of air-to-air refuelling will find one of its strongest pillars in EATC and one of its most powerful tools in EART.

EART Project Officer
EATC Training & Exercises branch


Stay tuned! We will inform you on the dates of the 2019 EART training.