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November 23, 2014

Airbus to supply A330 MRTT aircraft to French Air Force

The French Ministry of Defence has selected Airbus Defence and Space for delivery of 12 A330 new generation multi-role tanker transport aircraft (MRTT) to the French Air Force.

By admin-demo

A330

The French Ministry of Defence has selected Airbus Defence and Space for delivery of 12 A330 new generation multi-role tanker transport aircraft (MRTT) to the French Air Force.

The €3bn contract is scheduled to be awarded by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) next month. It will cover development and qualification of the specific French configuration, as well as the associated support and training systems, such as spares, ground support equipment, training devices and five years of in-service support.

Airbus Defence and Space Military Aircraft executive vice-president Domingo Urena Raso said: "The French Air Force has enormous experience in the field of air-to-air refuelling.

"It knows the factors which are critical to success and its selection of the A330 MRTT is a real honour for us."

It is planned that the aircraft will be called Phoenix in the French service. A combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods will be fitted onto it.

The aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. It can be configured in a variety of layouts to carry up to 271 passengers, and medical evacuation arrangements, including the French Morphee intensive care module that can hold up to ten patients and 88 passengers.

A military variant of the civilian Airbus A330-200 airliner, the A330, is designed to perform air-to-air refuelling without any additional fuel tanks, as well as cargo, troop transport and medical evacuation missions.

"The French Air Force has enormous experience in the field of air-to-air refuelling. It knows the factors which are critical to success and its selection of the A330 MRTT is a real honour for us."

A total of 34 A330s have been ordered to date by Australia, Singapore, the UAE, the UK, and Saudi Arabia, which has also placed a. repeat order.

Meanwhile, India and Qatar are in the final stages of contractual negotiations for six and two aircraft respectively.

Nearly 22 aircraft have entered service with customers, and have been battle-proven in recent coalition actions.

The first two A330s are scheduled to be handed over in 2018 and 2019, respectively, whereas remaining aircraft would be delivered at a rate of one or two per year.


Image: An A330 new generation multi-role tanker transport aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Rolls-Royce plc.

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