Airbus Military is picking up the delivery pace for its A330 MRTT (multi role tanker transport), with six of the 28 aircraft on order already received by international customers, and seven more deliveries planned in 2012.
A worldwide market need is anticipated for another 100 aircraft in the A330 MRTT category – created by the requirements of countries planning to replace ageing aerial tankers currently in their inventories, and for nations seeking to provide in-flight refuelling capability to their military forces for the first time, according to Ian Elliott, Airbus Military’s Vice President – Defence Capability, Market Development.
During a press briefing at the Singapore Airshow, Elliott said the A330 MRTT is a “game-changing” platform for military aerial refuelling, offering a quantum leap in the amount of fuel provided to receiver aircraft and to the distances at which this fuel can be delivered, along with the technology utilized in the refuelling process.
These advantages have been underscored by A330 MRTT’s wins in the majority of competitions for new tankers, with the aircraft being selected by the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force, the United Arab Emirates Air Force and for operation by the U.K. Royal Air Force.
The A330 MRTT already has demonstrated its capability refuel a wide variety of receiver aircraft with both its deployable boom and hose & drogue systems, ranging from the F-16, F-18, Typhoon, Tornado, MiG-29 and Su-30 combat aircraft to the KC-135 tanker, E-3 AWACS and the A330 MRTT in “buddy” fuelling.
At this week’s Singapore Airshow, Airbus Military is exhibiting an A330 MRTT which ultimately will be delivered as a Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) for the U.K. Royal Air Force.