Included in the production run of 54 Vickers VC10s and Super VC10s were 14 transports for the RAF which combined features of both variants. Apart from having the short VC10 fuselage, almost all engineering features of the VC10 C.Mk 1 were those of the Super VC10, including uprated engines, stronger structure, wet (integral tank) fin, extended leading edge and increased gross weight.
To meet RAF requirements the C.Mk 1 also had an Artouste auxiliari power unit fitted in the tail, a large cargo door and a floor strengthened for heavy freight.
Thirteen aircraft (the 14th being an RB.211 engine test-bed) were fitted with inflight-refuelling probes and, between 1991 and 1992, these gained a Mk 32 HDU (hose-drum unit) beneath each outer wing. Known as VC10 C.Mk 1Ks these dual-role tanker/transports continue to give exemplary service with No10.
To meet the RAF's need for tankers, No101 received nine former civil aircraft completely rebuilt by BAe Bristol. Five British Airways VC10s became VC10 K.Mk 2 tankers and four East African Model 1154 Supers became VC10 K.Mk 3 tankers. The RAF bought the last 14 British Airways Supers, three of which were cannibalized and the rest stored for possible conversion into tankers at a later date.
On 30 July 1993, the first of five VC10 K.Mk 4s, converted from the stored airframes, was flown for the first time. These triple-point tankers do not have extra fuel tanks and are used for short-range operations. The K.Mk 2 and K.Mk 3 were generally brought to C.Mk 1 standard, but have no passenger windows and sealed-cargo doors. Five large double-skinned tanks were added above the floor, and three HDUs installed, a Mk 17B in the rear fuselage and a Mk 32 under each outer wing. The VC10 served during the 1991 Gulf War and during NATO operation Allied Force against Serbia in 1999.