First Airbus Military A330 MRTT handed over to RAAF
The first Airbus Military A330 MRTT new generation tanker/transport has formally been delivered to, and accepted by the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base Amberley (Queensland, Australia) on 1st June 2011 at a ceremony attended by DMO, RAAF, Qantas and Airbus Military representatives.
"This is a very major and long awaited milestone for the A330 MRTT programme", said Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña. "I wish to congratulate and thank herewith all the teams - internal and external, with special mention to our world class suppliers Cobham, Thales and Qantas. They all have been working extremely hard to develop, test and certify this all new multi role tanker and transport aircraft which really is the "21st Century benchmark" in its category. My very special thanks also go to our customers and, above all, the Royal Australian Air Force, for having placed their faith in our product. Their contribution was a key factor for making the A330 MRTT what it is today. We are now very keen to see it demonstrate its worth in real operations".
The aircraft, which had left Madrid on 27th May, was ferried to Amberley where it arrived on Monday 30th May at 15h00 local time. On its ferry flight, the A330 MRTT was flown by Airbus Military and RAAF crews, and transited via McCarran (Nevada) and Hickam (Hawaii) in the USA.
The aircraft is the second converted by Qantas Defence Services in Brisbane, which was returned to Europe for painting and finishing. It will be joined by the second aircraft for the RAAF in June, and two further aircraft later in the year. The fifth and final aircraft ordered by the RAAF, which arrived in Brisbane for conversion with Qantas Defence Services a few days ago, will be delivered next year.
The delivery of the aircraft to the RAAF follows an extensive development and test programme for what is the world's only certified and flying new generation tanker/transport aircraft. Civil Supplemental Type Certificate was obtained in March 2010, and the military certification followed in October.
In RAAF service, the A330 MRTT will be equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, the fly-by-wire Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), and a Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) enabling it to be refuelled from another tanker. It is powered by two General Electric CF6-80E engines. It is equipped with a comprehensive defensive aids suite (DAS) and fitted with 270 passenger seats.
Having received its supplemental type certificate from European civil certification Authority EASA in March 2010 and military certification from Spanish Authority INTA in October, the Airbus Military A330 MRTT is the only new generation strategic tanker/transport aircraft flying and available today. The large 111 tonnes/ 245,000 lb basic fuel capacity of the successful A330-200 airliner, from which it is derived, enables the A330 MRTT to excel in Air-to-Air Refuelling missions without the need for any additional fuel tank. The A330 MRTT is offered with a choice of proven air-to-air refuelling systems including an advanced Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System, and/or a pair of under-wing hose and drogue pods, and/or a Fuselage Refuelling Unit.
Thanks to its true wide-body fuselage, the A330 MRTT can also be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry 300 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb. It can also easily be converted to accommodate up to 130 stretchers for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC). To date, a total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by four customers (Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom), with Saudi Arabia having already placed a repeat order.
Source: Airbus Military
More from Military Logistics
Rolls-Royce gains major deal to support T-45 Goshawk engine
New contract to support the Ardour turbofan is worth more than $1 billion.
Brazil receives first A330 for multi-role operations
A pair of A330s will be converted by Airbus for aerial refuelling, logistical support, humanitarian aid, and medical evacuations.
General Dynamics NASSCO to build three more US Navy replenishment vessels
The latest $1.4 billion contract modification for General Dynamics NASSCO covers a new Expeditionary Sea Base ship and two more John Lewis-class fleet oilers.
Australia onshores Super Hornet and Growler maintenance elements
New MRO contract between Boeing Defence Australia and RUAG Australia replaces work previously done in the US.
SEA to extend NSIPS to Queen Elizabeth-class carriers and Type 45 destroyers
A systems integration contract for UK RN submarines is being extended to major surface vessels.
USN exercises option for two more Navajo-class rescue and salvage ships
Austal USA is to build two additional Navajo-class towing, salvage and rescue ships for the USN, after Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) exercised a $156.17 …