Airbus Military has delivered the third of three new generation A330 MRTT multi-role tanker transports ordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The handover of the aircraft, the world´s most advanced air-to-air tanker, means that 17 examples of the type are now in service with four customers – Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the United Kingdom.
Converted from an Airbus A330 commercial passenger jet by Airbus Military at Getafe near Madrid, the aircraft will serve with the UAE Air Force and Air Defense at Al-Ain airbase.
Following an extensive series of flight-tests in Abu Dhabi, the aircraft has successfully completed receiver qualification of the two fighter types that the UAE AF&AD will refuel in service – the F-16E/F Block 60 and Mirage 2000.
The first five A330 MRTT crews completed their training earlier this month and the final five will begin training in September for completion in early 2014.
Airbus Military Vice President Derivative Programmes, Antonio Caramazana said: “It is deeply satisfying to see the completion of these deliveries to the UAE AF&AD. The A330 MRTT will contribute greatly to enabling the UAE to play a growing role in maintaining stability in the Gulf region.”
In UAE AF&AD service the A330 MRTT is 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 Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and has 256 passenger seats.
About A330 MRTT
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 one (Saudi Arabia) having already placed a repeat order.