Airbus has delivered the first Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft to the Nato Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) in Spain.

During the ceremony at the Airbus Getafe site in Spain, the first of eight aircraft was delivered.

The MRTT aircraft’s official acceptance marks a milestone towards its entry to service of the multinational unit formed by the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

The aircraft’s main operating base is located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. It will also operate from the Forward Operating Base in Cologne, Germany.

Airbus Defence and Space CEO Dirk Hoke said: “The Nato MMF programme perfectly represents the future of defence cooperation and shows the true success of the pooling and sharing concept.

“As a trusted partner for the armed forces, Airbus is extremely proud to see its A330 MRTT at the forefront and ready to secure decisive capabilities and interoperability for Nato partner nations.”

Funded by the six nations, the MMF programme will permit them to operate the Nato–owned aircraft in a pooling arrangement.

The aircraft will perform in-flight refuelling, transport passengers and cargo and carry out medical evacuation operations.

The MMF programme was initiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2012.

On behalf of Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) manages the MMF acquisition phase.

NSPA, as contract executing agent, will manage the first two years of the Initial In-Service-Support. It will also support the complete lifecycle management of the fleet.

The A330 MRTT combines the advanced technology of a new generation tanker with the operational experience during its service.

It is interoperable with receivers, delivering capabilities significant during MEDEVAC and strategic transport missions.