Farnborough 2022: Airbus A330 MRTT gains certification for automatic refuelling
The Airbus A330 MRTT has been certified for automatic air-to-air refuelling (A3R) boom operations in daylight following successful trials in collaboration with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
Certified by the Spain's National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), this capability is part of the SMART MRTT concept developed by Airbus. The A3R system requires no modification to the receiver aircraft and is intended to reduce operator workload, improve safety and optimise the rate of fuel transfer in operational conditions.
'The certification of the A3R capability is the result of a successful journey that started in 2018 with the world’s first automated contact with a boom system in a joint operation with the Royal Australian Air Force,' said Jean-Brice Dumont, head of military air systems at Airbus Defence and Space.
An RSAF A330 MRTT took part in the development, flight test campaign and certification of the A3R system as part of the SMART MRTT effort. In addition, improved maintenance capabilities have been developed, allowing faster performance of ground tasks, and more efficient use of spare parts.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, A3R launch customer Singapore has a fleet of six A330 MRTTs, delivered from 2018 to 2020, with a projected out-of-service date of 2048.
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