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Australia has selected Airbus for the communications and mission system upgrade for A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) fleet of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The work covers a retrofit package, which includes new and additional communications capabilities and enhanced mission systems.

This is to help ensure the systems adhere to the latest enhanced A330 MRTT standard.

Phase one of the work is split into two contracts and Airbus will conduct the design and systems development and integration before the Critical Design Review maturity gate.

Under Phase two, Airbus will install and deliver a prototype KC-30 aircraft, the name assigned by RAAF to A330 MRTT. It will be used for certification and qualification processes.

Following the delivery of the prototype, the modification kits will be finalised and supplied to the entire fleet.

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Airbus will also provide the data packs and support needed to ensure that the upgrade is present in the current RAAF A330 MRTT full flight simulator (FFS), the integrated procedures trainer (IPT) and the remote air refuelling operator (RARO) console part task trainer (PTT).

The aircraft features two types of air-to-air refuelling systems and can carry a 111t fuel load.

A total of 61 orders have been placed for the A330 MRTT of which, 45 aircraft are delivered.

Last month, the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) ordered an additional Airbus A330 MRTT on behalf of Nato’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).