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Airbus Military A330 MRTT obtains military certification

Airbus Military has obtained certification for the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport from Spanish military certification authority Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Aerospacial (INTA). This paves the way for first delivery of the aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the coming weeks. The A330 MRTT is now the only certified new-generation tanker and transport being offered to the world's air forces.

The military certificate was presented by INTA Director for Testing and Certification Bartolomé Marqués to Airbus Military, SVP Head of Engineering and Technology, Miguel Angel Morell on 5th October in Madrid. It covers the design and operation of all the military systems added to the aircraft in addition to the basic civil design, and especially the hose and drogue, as well as the all-new Airbus Military designed Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS).

This approval follows the civil Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the conversion from the basic passenger A330-200 awarded by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) earlier in the year.

Airbus Military Managing Director Domingo Ureña said: "I would like to thank all and everyone who has worked hard on achieving this certification. This is an enormously gratifying moment for all. It confirms the A330 MRTT has satisfactorily demonstrated its global military airworthiness and the maturity of all its systems, and its full readiness to enter service with its customers. The combination of the proven A330 airframe with the most advanced, and now certified, refuelling systems in the world, including our ARBS, will transform the conduct of aerial refuelling operations, while also providing full transport capability."

Airbus Military conducted more than 280 A330 MRTT flights and nearly 170 more on an A310 demonstrator to obtain the certification, and performed nearly 1,600 wet and dry contacts with receiver aircraft. Additionally more than 600 contacts were made with the A330 MRTT acting as receiver. Altogether more than one million pounds (450 tonnes) of fuel were transferred. Aircraft to which the A330 MRTT has now transferred fuel include F-16 and F-18 fighters, the E-3 AWACS with its large radome, and another A330 MRTT in a process known as buddy-buddy refuelling.

Airbus Military will deliver two MRTTs to the RAAF before the end of the year. The aircraft, equipped with two underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods and the Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), will be operated by 33 Squadron at RAAF Amberley. They can also carry 270 passengers in a two-class configuration.

A total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by the Air forces of four nations (Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom).

Press release issued by Airbus Defence & Space HQ on October 6, 2010

 

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Airbus A330

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