Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services (IDS) has partnered with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) and Lufthansa Technik to provide support services for Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of KC-30A multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft.

Under the agreed terms, AFI KLM E&M will provide a range of services to Northrop Grumman which include aircraft component auxiliary power unit and CF6 80-E1 engine test, repair and overhaul services; ready access to line replaceable unit loans and exchanges; and global line station logistics solutions.

Additionally, Lufthansa Technik will provide spares (consumables and expendables) procurement; aircraft component test, repair and overhaul services; landing gear overhaul services and aircraft component support to Northrop Grumman.

"This access to parts and expertise through this agreement is an important part of our vision to build Northrop Grumman as a regional support hub."

Northrop Grumman Australia CEO Ian Irving said: “This agreement between Northrop Grumman and Lufthansa Technik provides the potential for significant savings for the Australian government.

“This access to parts and expertise through this agreement is an important part of our vision to build Northrop Grumman as a regional support hub for a range of aircraft types for Australian and regional air forces.”

Northrop said that the agreements with AFI KLM E&M and Lufthansa Technik will provide the Australian MRTT programme with improved access to a global inventory network.

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The programme will also benefit from landing gear services and a reduction in component repair times through Lufthansa Technik’s commercial expertise.

The agreement with Lufthansa allows future extension for support of parts and general maintenance to other aircraft types.

Northrop Grumman IDS is the prime contractor for MRTT Through-Life Support (TLS).

Using KC-30A, RAAF conducts both air-to-air refuelling and provides strategic air lift.