South Korea’s first Airbus A330 MRTT to undergo acceptance trials

14 November 2018 (Last Updated November 14th, 2018 11:03)

The Republic of Korea Air Force’s (ROKAF) first A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft has arrived at the Gimhae Air Base in Busan for acceptance tests.

South Korea’s first Airbus A330 MRTT to undergo acceptance trials
An A330 MRTT for the South Korean Air Force taking off from the Airbus final assembly line in Getafe, Spain. Credit: © PABLO CABELLOS.

The Republic of Korea Air Force’s (ROKAF) first A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft has arrived at the Gimhae Air Base in Busan for acceptance tests.

Developed and delivered by Airbus Defence and Space, the next-generation A330 MRTT is slated to undergo evaluation tests before being accepted into service with the ROKAF.

Piloted by a joint Airbus and Korean Air Force crew, the multi-role tanker landed in the country after completing a ferry flight from the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Getafe, Spain, with a stop in Vancouver, Canada.

The ROKAF will be supported by a team from Airbus, which will be based in the country during the entire period of the acceptance trials until the tanker is officially delivered to the airforce.

“The combat-proven platform has the capacity of offloading 50,000kg of fuel to a number of aircraft during a four-hour loitering mission at more than 1,000nm from its take-off point.”

In June 2015, Airbus Defence and Space was selected by the Republic of Korea for the delivery of the A330 MRTTs powered by Rolls-Royce engines as the nation’s future air-to-air refuelling and transport aircraft.

With a capability to carry up to 111t of fuel, the combat-proven platform has the capacity of offloading 50,000kg of fuel to a number of aircraft during a four-hour loitering mission at more than 1,000nm from its take-off point.

In addition, the tanker can carry a maximum payload of up to 45t and support the deployment of up to four combat jets, as well as 50 personnel and 12t of freight, in one direct flight of more than 5,200km.

In September, the Republic of Singapore Air Force received its first A330 MRTT aerial refuelling aircraft that would help enhance the endurance of the service’s fighter fleet.