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World Defence Show 2024: Saudi Arabia exploring A330 and A400M tanker deals with Airbus

5th February 2024 - 14:35 GMT | by Norbert Neumann, Damian Kemp in London


Saudi Arabia signed a contract for the first three A330 MRTT aircraft in 2008 and extended it to six in 2009. (Photo: Airbus)

Reports have suggested that Airbus has been in talks with Saudi Arabia to expand its fleet of military aircraft, including the procurement of A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport and A400M military transport aircraft.

Airbus has been in talks with Saudi Arabia to sell more A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, according to reports in media outlet Bloomberg and Singapore newspaper The Business Times.

The reports also revealed that Saudi Arabia has been considering the purchase of the A400M military transport aircraft, according to Jean-Brice Dumond, head of Air Power at Airbus.

“We know there is an interest in the A400M, and we will address it with the Saudi Air Force and the Ministry of Defence,” Dumond was quoted as saying.

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The talks have been said to being led by Airbus’s 49%-owned joint venture with Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI).

Approached by Shephard at the World Defence Show, taking place this week in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Airbus officials declined to discuss any ongoing negotiations with the Gulf nation specifically.

“We are in constant discussion with actual and future customers in the region and we have several campaigns in the region for the A400M, A330 and C-295,” a spokesperson told Shephard. “The A400M is a mature aircraft of which we have delivered 123.”

Saudi Arabia signed a contract for three A330 in 2008 and received them by December 2012. In July 2009, the order was increased by three more aircraft, resulting in a total fleet of six MRTTs. By June 2015, all six of these aircraft had been delivered to the KSA.

The A400M was developed to meet European military airlift requirements, but it has since been sold to other markets as well.

Shephard's World Defense Show 2024 coverage is sponsored by:

Defence Insight
Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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Damian Kemp


Damian Kemp

Damian Kemp has worked in the defence media for 25 years covering military aircraft, defence …

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