Sat, Jun 03, 2006
EADS CASA announced
Friday it received the first A330 platform from Airbus at its
Madrid facilities for conversion into a Multi Role Tanker Transport
(MRTT) for the Royal Australian Air Force.
As Aero-News reported, the
airframe rolled off the assembly line at Airbus at the end of
April. EADS CASA will ultimately supply five of the air-to-air
refueling aircraft, as well as associated training and support
systems, under the $1.4 million Australian contract signed at the
end of 2004.
"We are very proud of the Royal Australian Air Force selected
EADS CASA for its very demanding air to air refueling program. This
is just the beginning of a fruitful and long term collaboration",
said Fernandez Sainz, Chairman of EADS CASA. "We have developed the
new Air Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) that is going to place EADS
as a key player in the world tanker market in the future ", added
The new MRTTs will be capable of refueling F/A-18, F-111, and
AWACS aircraft, as well as others. The A330 MRTT also has the
ability to carry up to 272 passengers, and a combination of
commercial and military cargo pallets.
The aircraft will enter service with the RAAF before the end of
2009... and, possibly, with the US Air Force soon thereafter.
Many officials in the United States Air Force will be keeping
their eyes on the development of the MRTT... as it is one of two
aircraft being considered by the USAF to replace the stalwart but
aging fleet of KC-135 tankers.
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