The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) received the second A330 aircraft for conversion into a KC-30 tanker.

The delivery is a part of the project Air 5402 that involves the purchase of five Airbus aircraft to convert into military aircraft for air-to-air refuelling tankers.

Qantas Airlines of Australia will carry out the conversion work.

Australian minister for defence personnel, materiel and science Greg Combet said that the tankers will augment the RAAF’s air combat capability by extending the range and endurance of the fighters.

“The KC-30 Tanker will also add to our air-lift capability with the capacity to carry 270 troops and significant quantities of stores over significant distances,” Combet said.

The first aircraft, the MSN747, has finished the second subphase of developmental flight testing and performed dry contacts with the A310 boom demonstrator and a French Air Force C-135 tanker.

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The second aircraft, MSN 951, is expected to return to Spain later in 2009 for completion of the extensive certification and qualification flight test programme.

MSN 951 will enter into RAAF service around mid-2010.