The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has finalised a contract to acquire two Airbus A330-200 aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The $77.866m (C$102m) contract to procure two A330-200 aircraft, manufactured in 2015, was awarded to International AirFinance (IAFC).

The two aircraft will replace and renew the strategic tanker transport capability (STTC) offered by the existing fleet of RCAF’s CC-150 Polaris aircraft, which is in service since 1992.

Both aircraft will later become part of the STTC fleet.

With the latest procurement, the number of aircraft in the STTC fleet is now expected to be six.

The STTC project falls under Canada’s defence policy, called ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE).’

It aims to replace and renew the RCAF’s air-to-air refuelling (AAR) capability for the next generation.

Canadian DND minister Anita Anand said: “The Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment they need at the best value for money.

“We look forward to accepting these two aircraft as they represent an important first step in eventually replacing capability currently provided by CC150 Polaris fleet.”

Delivery of the two aircraft to Canada is expected in late next year.

These aircraft will arrive in commercial configuration and will be initially used for passenger/cargo roles.

Airbus Defence and Space will later modify the two aircraft in accordance with the military specifications required to serve as a multi-role aircraft within the STTC fleet.

Additionally, the new aircraft will transport the Canadian Government’s personnel, as well as play a crucial role in providing AAR, strategic airlift, aeromedical evacuations and strategic capabilities.