First Airbus Military A330 MRTT for Royal Saudi Air Force makes maiden flight

20 octobre 2021 Pierre Perrin-Monlouis

The first Airbus Military A330 MRTT for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) has successfully completed its maiden flight lasting 4hr 15min.

The crew reported that the aircraft, its systems and two General Electric CF6 engines performed entirely satisfactorily.

Following the 15th March flight the aircraft now enters the final certification and qualification phase for this version of the A330 MRTT leading to contractual delivery later this year. The second RSAF aircraft is already in conversion at the company’s Getafe site (close to Madrid, Spain) and the third will begin the process in mid-year. Prior to this flight, five A330 MRTTs had already flown. Those include three for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and two for the UK Royal Air Force. Two of the aircraft are already technically complete and ready for delivery to the RAAF in Getafe, pending finalisation of contractual discussion.

The picture shows the first A330 MRTT for the RSAF landing at Getafe.

About the A330 MRTT

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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