First Airbus Military A330 MRTT handed over to Royal Australian Air Force
Today, the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) formally accepted the first A330 MRTT tanker/transport destined for the RAAF at Amberley in Queensland.
“This is a very major and long awaited milestone for the A330 MRTT programme”, said Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña. “I wish to congratulate and thank herewith all the teams – internal and external, with special mention to our world class suppliers Cobham, Thales and Qantas… My very special thanks also go to our customers and, above all, the Royal Australian Air Force, for having placed their faith in our product”.
The aircraft is the second converted by Qantas Defence Services in Brisbane, which was returned to Europe for painting and finishing. It will be joined by the second aircraft for the RAAF in June, and two further aircraft later in the year, Airbus Military said.
The fifth and final aircraft ordered by the RAAF, which arrived in Brisbane for conversion with Qantas Defence Services a few days ago, will be delivered next year. The tankers will be operated by No. 33 Squadron.
In RAAF 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 General Electric CF6-80E engines. It is equipped with a comprehensive defensive aids suite (DAS) and fitted with 270 passenger seats.