Air-to-Air Refuelling Fact Sheet

Educate – Communicate – Cooperate

What Does the JAPCC AAR Section Do?

We are NATO. Our position outside the traditional NATO Force Structure allows for an impartial and sometimes critical review of the way NATO conducts AAR operations. Coupling the COE duties with the Chairmanship of the NATO AAR Working Group, coupled with the ownership of
NATO’s AAR Doctrine and subsequent documents gives us our mandate to work with the 29 members nations of NATO to align the Alliance’s AAR future with national priorities and NATO NDPP desires. In addition, we are also chartered with interacting with NATO’s PfP nations bringing the total to 50 nations.

We are Europe. Combined partnerships allow the JAPCC to help shape AAR worldwide from the tactical to the strategic levels. By working with the European Defense Agency we broaden our reach and help ensure cooperation across the spectrum of AAR operations. This global approach allows for the free and open exchange of information across national, organizational and personal boundries. It is the lynchpin for effective global AAR operations.

We are global. As the Air Refuelling System Advisory Group’s (ARSAG) Interoperability Chair, we reach the global AAR community. Across 6 continents, the AAR office continues to be a single point of entry for both NATO and non-NATO nations. The AAR office maintains relationships with partners such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar.


A single reference tool for the global community:

8 NATO AAR directives, 20 National directives, 3 Organizational directives, 8 Articles, 1 Study, 2 White Papers, 1 Thought Paper Event calendar

A planning aid for commanders & staffs: 1,803 tanker / receiver pairs, 47 nations

Core Business


NATO Standardization Agreements:

  • 7207 AAR Doctrine
  • 3971 AAR Operations + 4 Standards Related Documents (SRD) covering international clearances, operational planning aids, and suggested training requirements
  • 3447 Probe-Drogue Interface Characteristics
  • 7215 Lights in Hose and Drogue Systems
  • 7191 Boom-Receptacle System and Interface Requirements
  • 7218 Hose Colour and Markings in Hose and Drogue Systems


In 2017, JAPCC AAR presented 15 times in 6 countries. The increase in global interoperability is directly tied to this outreach.


From the operator to the politician, increasing interoperability in coalition operations it a team effort. Close working relationships between JAPCC, NATO HQ, the nations and national organizations like the Dutch Test Centre, the European Defence Agency, industry, and MOU organizations like the Movement Coordination Centre Europe decrease duplication of effort and increase multiplication of effect. JOIN US!!

Data Sharing

Standardized Test Plans

Barriers to data sharing continue to hamper international AAR interoperability. Conceptualized in the ARSAG Interoperability Working Group in 2014, JAPCC is supporting an initiative to use common test plans & internationally certify already validated data. Working with Test & Evaluation personnel ensures we get the right product at the right time to the right people. This will allow nations to accept the test results without having to share the proprietary data behind the testing.


Automated Air-to-Air Refuelling

The future of AAR is unmanned. Several A3R receiver and tanker designs have been tested and submitted. In 2017, the JAPCC supported this work by hosting A3R engineers at the NATO Working Group and posted a draft A3R Concept of Operations on the NATO Standardization Office’s Website for review by NATO national delegates. JAPCC encourages decisionmakers to consider multi-mission UAS’ impact on future joint air and space operations.

AAR Clearances

Reducing Risk in AAR

Commanders /planners minimize AAR risk by verifying that assets are technically & operationally approved to make contact. Globally, this is accomplished through bi-lateral clearances which confirm compatibility of items such as physical connections, training, maintenance, and legal & monetary arrangements. JAPCC continues to support nations in assessing planning / operations lessons identified, developing clearance request / approval guides & conducting clearance training.