MLF - Military Logistics

Cobham Enables Airbus A330 Air-to-Air Refuelling Flight Demonstrations

1st December 2009 - 10:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Cobham air-to-air refuelling pods have successfully demonstrated the ability to transfer fuel from the Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) to Spanish Air Force F-18s with a series of "probe-to-drogue" contacts during recent flight trials.

The 905E refuelling pods, built by Cobham Mission Equipment at Wimborne, UK, represent the Company's latest generation Aerial Refuelling System, which is the first and only hose & drogue system in the world to employ a dual redundant hose response system - a major contributor to world leading mission availability. During a series of contacts conducted during November 2009, the refuelling system transferred fuel to receiver aircraft and demonstrated effective hose response throughout the trials.

AMI A330 MRTT aircraft simultaneously makes ‘wet contact' with two Spanish Air Force F-18 fighters during recent flight trials. "These ‘wet contact' flight trials are a major milestone in the development of the A330 MRTT's tanker capability," said Iain Gibson, vice president of Cobham Mission Equipment.

"This achievement reinforces Cobham's expertise and position as the world leader in delivering air refuelling solutions to meet the strategic and tactical tanker requirements of air forces around the globe."

The Royal Australian Air Force A330MRTT platform used for these flight tests is similar in configuration to the solution that Northrop Grumman intends to propose to the US Air Force in response to the KC-X Tanker requirement. The A330 MRTT with 905E pods has also been selected for the UK MoD FSTA programme, the Saudi Arabia Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

 

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