The first Airbus Military A330 MRTT for the United Arab Emirates Air Force has successfully completed its maiden flight following conversion of the aircraft in Madrid. The crew reported that the aircraft, its systems and two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines performed entirely satisfactorily during the 2hr 55min flight on 9th April. As it features some different avionics, and is the first “receiver” to be powered by the Rolls- Royce Trent engine, the UAE A330 MRTT now enters the certification and qualification phase for these new elements.
The first of three ordered by the UAE AF, it will transfer to Abu Dhabi around the end of the year for the final phase of flight-testing leading to delivery in the second quarter of 2012.
Prior to this flight, six A330 MRTTs had already flown. Those include three for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), two for the UK Royal Air Force, and one for the Royal Saudi Air Force. Two of the aircraft are already technically complete and ready for delivery to the RAAF, pending finalisation of contractual discussion. Page 2 of 2 The picture shows the first A330 MRTT for the UAE AF landing at Airbus Military´s Getafe base.
Having received supplemental type certificate from European civil certification Authority EASA in March 2010 and military certification from Spanish Authority INTA in October, the Airbus Military A330 MRTT is the only new generation strategic tanker/transport aircraft flying and available today.
The large, 111 tonnes/ 245,000 lb basic fuel capacity of the successful A330-200 airliner, from which it is derived, enables the A330 MRTT to excel in Air-to-Air Refuelling missions without the need for any additional fuel tank. The A330 MRTT is offered with a choice of proven air-to-air refuelling systems including an advanced Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System, and/or a pair of under-wing hose and drogue pods, and/or a Fuselage Refuelling Unit.
Thanks to its true wide-body fuselage, the A330 MRTT can also be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry 300 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb. It can also easily be converted to accommodate up to 130 stretchers for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC). To-date, a total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by four customers (Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom), with one (Saudi Arabia) having already placed a repeat order.
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