RAAF receives fourth A330 MRTT
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has taken delivery of the fourth A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft following handover by Airbus Military in late December 2011. This leaves just one aircraft still to be delivered to the RAAF under the existing order contract.
Designated the KC-30A by the RAAF, the aircraft will remain in Spain, where it has been converted by Airbus Military from the basic A330 configuration, until test work is completed. It will then be transferred to RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, later in 2012.
The fifth and final aircraft under the contract is scheduled for delivery during Q3 2012. All other aircraft have been converted to KC-30A configuration by Qantas Defence Services in Brisbane, Australia.
The A330 MRTT has undergone successful refuelling trials in Australia with an RAAF F/A-18 fighter. It is the world’s most advanced air-to-air tanker and the only certified and flying new generation tanker/transport aircraft in existence. It will substantially increase the aerial refuelling and logistical capabilities of the RAAF.
In RAAF service, the aircraft are 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. Powered by two General Electric CF6-80E engines, the aircraft are equipped with a comprehensive defensive aids suite (DAS) and fitted with 270 passenger seats.
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