Saudi Arabia has placed its first A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport into operational service with this new-generation aircraft’s formal acceptance into the Royal Saudi Air Force fleet. The clearance was given by Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khaled bin Sultan during a dedication ceremony held earlier in the week at Riyadh Airbase. This A330 MRTT is the first of a three-aircraft batch contractually delivered to Saudi Arabia by Airbus Military, and it will be deployed to refuel Royal Saudi Air Force fighter jets, including the F-15, Typhoon and Tornado.
News in brief
Airbus Military’s A330 MRTT is accepted into the Royal Saudi Air Force fleet
The A330 MRTT is certified for Royal Australian Air Force operations
The Australian Department of Defence has declared initial operating capability (IOC) for its A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport, which is designated the KC-30A in service with the Royal Australian Air Force. This announcement was made today at the Australian International Airshow, and it reinforces the fact that Airbus Military’s A330 MRTT is the world’s only certified and flying new-generation tanker/transport. Australia has received all of its MRTTs on order, with the fifth and final aircraft delivered during November 2012. (Photo credit: Andrew Mclaughlin)
The A400M once again demonstrates its cold weather capabilities
Airbus Military’s new-generation airlifter has completed another round of cold weather testing as preparations continue in advance of the first A400M customer delivery. These latest evaluations were completed during a week-long deployment to Iqaluit, Canada using a production-representative aircraft, and demonstrated capabilities of equipment such as the cargo system and production-standard engines – which were not available for previous A400M cold weather trials in Sweden.
Airbus Military signs initial support services contract for French Air Force A400Ms
A key milestone has been reached for the upcoming delivery start-up of French Air Force A400Ms with Airbus Military’s signing of the initial In-Service Support contract, which was inked with France’s OCCAR (Organization for Joint Cooperation in Armaments) and spans a period of 18 months. The agreement covers industrial on-base maintenance support, spares management, extended query answering service and more to facilitate smooth flight operations at Orleans, which is the A400M’s initial operating base in French Air Force service.
Airbus ProSky inks new agreement for enhanced air traffic management in Singapore
The partnership of Airbus’ ProSky subsidiary with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has advanced with signing of a joint research and collaboration agreement – marking an important step toward strengthening Singapore as a centre of excellence for air traffic management. Under this pact, Airbus ProSky and CAAS will research air traffic flow management and collaborative decision making for a new level of efficient air traffic management operations in Singapore and across the Asia-Pacific region.
The United Arab Emirates receives its initial A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport
Airbus Military has delivered the first of three new-generation A330 Multi Role Tanker Transports (MRTT) to the United Arab Emirates, which will be operated in service with the nation’s Air Force and Air Defence. This latest handover marks a key milestone for the MRTT programme, as each of Airbus Military’s four current customers – Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom – have now received one or more aircraft. The United Arab Emirates’ remaining two A330 MRTTs are at an advanced stage of preparation, and will be provided by mid-year.
The first production A400M shows off its French Air Force colours
Airbus Military’s new-generation A400M airlifter programme marked a key milestone with an unveiling of the no. 1 production aircraft in colours of the French Air Force – the initial customer scheduled to receive an A400M. This aircraft was shown at Seville, Spain, which is home to the A400M’s final assembly line. First delivery of the A400M is scheduled in the second quarter of this year.
India selects Airbus Military as preferred bidder to supply its A330 MRTT
India has selected Airbus Military as the country’s preferred bidder to supply A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft, following a selection process that included the refuelling of multiple Indian Air Force fighter types and operations from the high-altitude base at Leh. Detailed negotiations are expected to conclude with a final production contract in 2013 for an envisaged six aircraft. This selection makes India the fifth nation committing to the A330 MRTT, following Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom – which together have ordered a total of 28 aircraft.
The A400M is on track for full certification following its latest critical flight test activity
Airbus Military’s A400M has achieved the last major requirement for its full type certification with completion of Function & Reliability (F&R) flight testing – which evaluated this new-generation military airlifter’s behavior in conditions representative of normal in-flight operations. The testing was completed in 32 days using the first production-representative A400M, involving 52 flights and visits to 10 different airfields. The A400M is expected to receive its full civil type and military Initial Operating Capability certifications during the first quarter of 2013, with delivery of the French Air Force’s initial aircraft planned for later in the year.
The A380 “chills out” with a new supplementary cooling system
Malaysia Airlines is the first operator to receive an A380 equipped with a new-generation supplementary cooling system, which keeps certain aircraft systems – along with stored food and drinks – at optimum temperatures, particularly in hot regions of the world. Developed with Liebherr, the new cooling system is being fitted on all new production A380s and may be offered as a retrofit option for in-service aircraft.