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First A330 MRTT arrives at main operating base

2nd July 2020 - 10:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The first A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for the NATO Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) arrived at its main operating base in the Netherlands on 30 June.

It will also operate from an FOB in Cologne.

The arrival came a day after the aircraft was formally accepted by NATO in a ceremony at the Airbus facility in Getafe, Spain.

The multinational MMF will pool a total of eight NATO-owned A330 MRTTs for use by Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. There is the option to procure three more aircraft.

The second MRTT is due to be delivered in July and deliveries of the remaining aircraft are scheduled for completion by 2024. The acquisition of the aircraft is being managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency.

The fleet will be used for in-flight refuelling, personnel transport, cargo and medevac missions. According to Airbus, the A330 MRTT has already undertaken medevac and strategic transport flights to support COVID-19 relief efforts.

‘However, the fleet will probably have the most profound impact within the air-to-air refuelling mission, an area where historically many European Allies have lacked capacity,’ said Camille Grand, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment.

In April, the manufacturer announced it an A330 MRTT had successfully completed the first ever automatic air-to-air refuelling operation with a boom system.

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