Airbus Military has delivered the third of three new generation A330 MRTT multi-role tanker transports ordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The handover of the aircraft, the world´s most advanced air-to-air tanker, means that 17 examples of the type are now in service with four customers – Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the United Kingdom.
Converted from an Airbus A330 commercial passenger jet by Airbus Military at Getafe near Madrid, the aircraft will serve with the UAE Air Force and Air Defense at Al-Ain airbase.
Following an extensive series of flight-tests in Abu Dhabi, the aircraft has successfully completed receiver qualification of the two fighter types that the UAE AF&AD will refuel in service – the F-16E/F Block 60 and Mirage 2000.
The first five A330 MRTT crews completed their training earlier this month and the final five will begin training in September for completion in early 2014.
Airbus Military Vice President Derivative Programmes, Antonio Caramazana said: “It is deeply satisfying to see the completion of these deliveries to the UAE AF&AD. The A330 MRTT will contribute greatly to enabling the UAE to play a growing role in maintaining stability in the Gulf region.”
In UAE AF&AD service the A330 MRTT is equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, the fly-by-wire Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), and a Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) enabling it to be refuelled from another tanker. It is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and has 256 passenger seats.
Source: Airbus, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Aug 6, 2013