Airbus receives new order for Airbus A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft

According to a press release published on September 28, 2020, Airbus has received a firm order for an Airbus A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft from OCCAR, Europe’s organization for the management of cooperative armament programs.

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Airbus receives an new order for an Airbus A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport 925 001 Airbus A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft. (Picture source Airbus)

The order, which OCCAR has placed on behalf of NATO’s Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA), follows the decision from Luxembourg to maximize its participation in the Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) program with a significant increase from 200 to 1,200 the number of flight hours contracted. The aircraft is part of the three additional options originally included in the contract and will increase the MMF fleet to nine aircraft.

This new order comes after the successful delivery of the first two aircraft, with training and operational activities already in place. The additional aircraft will provide greater availability of the MMF fleet, enabling other NATO nations to cover their needs in air-to-air refueling, strategic transport, and medical evacuation.

The MMF program is funded by the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Germany, Belgium, and Czech Republic who have the exclusive right to operate the NATO–owned aircraft in a pooling arrangement, a prime example of European operational defense collaboration. The aircraft will be configured for in-flight refueling, the transport of passengers and cargo, and medical evacuation operations.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) initiated the MMF program in 2012. OCCAR manages the MMF acquisition phase as Contract Executing Agent on behalf of NSPA. Following the acquisition phase, NSPA will be responsible for the complete life-cycle management of the fleet.

The A330 MRTT combines the advanced technology of a new generation tanker with the operational experience recorded during more than 200,000 FH in service. The A330 MRTT is interoperable with receivers worldwide and delivers true multi-role capabilities as proven during the recent MEDEVAC and strategic transport missions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.