The Spanish Ministry of Defense has signed a formal order with Airbus for the procurement of three A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.
Under the agreement, the handover of the first transport configuration aircraft is scheduled in the coming days, followed by its conversion to MRTT in 2024. The handover of the first fully converted aircraft is scheduled in 2023 and the third and final unit in 2025.
The contract covers associated support such as spares, ground support equipment, training and in-service support until the end of the contract.
The aircraft, acquired from Iberia, will be converted into military tanker transport at Airbus’ Spanish headquarters in Getafe, Spain. It will be equipped with a state-of-the-art hose and drogue refueling system and a specific medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) kit.
Spanish Air Force 45 Wing, based in Torrejón Air Base, Madrid, Spain, will operate the A330 MRTT fleet.
“With the addition of A330 MRTT to its fleet, the Spanish Air Force acquires a key and proven new capability, that will enhance and support overseas operations, as well as MEDEVAC missions, on which the aircraft played a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis worldwide,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Military Aircraft at Airbus.
The A330 MRTT is the only next-generation strategic tanker and 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 refueling missions without the need for additional fuel tanks.
With a wide-body fuselage, the A330 MRTT can also be used as a dedicated transport aircraft able to carry up to 300 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb. It can also easily be converted to accommodate light and intensive care stations for MEDEVAC. With more than 250,000 flight hours achieved, the A330 MRTT counts 51 deliveries to 13 customers.