Airbus Military will begin to deliver A330 multirole tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft equipment for the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) new fleet of air-to-air refuelling tankers.

The firm will provide the RAAF with five A330 MRTT aircraft, called KC-30A MRTT by the air force, as part of Australia’s AIR 5402 acquisition programme.

It will also provide 4,500 individual components, 500 units of ground support and test equipment and 4,000 spares to 33 Squadron at RAAF Amberley.

The equipment, to be delivered over the next three months, will be used when the first A330 MRTT enters squadron service at Amberley RAAF Base, before the end of 2010.

Qantas Defence Services, as the prime contractor, will base 50 engineering support personnel at Amberley to manage the through-life support (TLS) programme.

Airbus Military, in its design and maintenance support role, will provide QDS with engineering, logistics, technical data, supply and training support services.

It will also assign two field service representatives to 33 Squadron for three years to ensure smooth entry into service.

The RAAF will receive two of the five KC-30A MRTT refuelling tankers on order by the end of 2010.