UAE receives first A330 MRTT aircraft
The first of three A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft has been delivered to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Airbus Military. The aircraft will bring the UAE Air Force and Air Defence the ability to conduct in-flight refuelling of its fighter fleet aircraft, including the Mirage 2000 and F-16; as well as a strategic transport capability.
The MRTT delivered to the UAE was converted from an Airbus A330 commercial passenger jet by Airbus Military at Getafe near Madrid. The remaining two aircraft are at an advanced stage of conversion and are expected to be delivered by mid-2013.
In UAE service the A330 MRTT is equipped with two under-wing 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 Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and has 256 passenger seats.
Antonio Caramazana, Airbus Military vice president derivative programmes, said: ‘It is a great pleasure to see the A330 MRTT now flying in the UAE Air Force and Air Defence colours. We are confident that it will greatly enhance the capability of the UAE Air Force and contribute to the stability of the Gulf region.’
This delivery makes the UAE the fourth current customer to receive the type, in addition to Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.
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