Equipped with Cobham Mission Equipment’s aerial refuelling pods, the first of three A330 MRTTs built for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force was delivered 6 February by Airbus Military during a ceremony at Getafe, Spain.
Equipped with Cobham Mission Equipment's aerial refuelling pods,
the first of three A330 MRTTs built for the United Arab Emirates
(UAE) Air Force was delivered 6 February by Airbus Military during
a ceremony at Getafe, Spain.
Image courtesy of Airbus Military
The handover of the world´s most advanced air-to-air tanker
means that the type has now been delivered to all four current
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 Defence. The remaining two aircraft are at an
advanced stage of conversion and will be delivered by mid-2013.
Airbus Military Vice President Derivative Programmes, Antonio
Caramazana 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."
In UAE 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. The aircraft is capable of conducting
refuelling operations with UAE Air Force and Air Defence fighters
such as the Mirage 2000 and F-16.
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.
About Cobham Mission Equipment
Cobham Mission Equipment is the world market leader for
Air-to-Air Refuelling, providing 'nose to tail' solutions from the
cockpit of the donor aircraft to the tail of the receiver platform.
To date, more than 1,000 systems have been delivered for
buddy-buddy refuelling and for tactical and strategic tanking for
fixed and rotary wing aircraft, with expertise now extended into
the development of autonomous UAV to UAV refuelling.