Cobham Aviation Services is set to commence work on the first of 12 Airbus A330 Voyagers due to be converted to the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) configuration.

Under the project, Cobham will install 905E under-wing hose and drogue refuelling pods on all 12 aircraft and fuselage drum units on six three-point tanker jets.

Work under the project will be carried out in a newly refurbished hangar to be opened formally on 2 September in Dorset, UK.

The first two Voyager aircraft have been modified by Airbus Military in Spain and all 14 modified A330s are expected to be operational with the RAF by mid-2016, according to Flightglobal.

The aircraft conversion forms part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s future strategic tanker aircraft programme, which involves the procurement of aerial refuelling and air transport to replace the Lockheed TriStar and Vickers VC10 transports.