First Airbus Military A330 MRTT handed over to Royal Australian Air Force
The first Airbus Military A330 MRTT new generation tanker/transport has formally been delivered to, and accepted by the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base Amberley (Queensland, Australia) on 1st June 2011 at a ceremony attended by DMO, RAAF, Qantas and Airbus Military representatives.
The aircraft, which had left Madrid on 27th May, was ferried to Amberley where it arrived on Monday 30th May at 15h00 local time. On its ferry flight, the A330 MRTT was flown by Airbus Military and RAAF crews, and transited via McCarran (Nevada) and Hickam (Hawaii) in the USA.
The aircraft is the second converted by Qantas Defence Services in Brisbane, which was returned to Europe for painting and finishing. It will be joined by the second aircraft for the RAAF in June, and two further aircraft later in the year. The fifth and final aircraft ordered by the RAAF, which arrived in Brisbane for conversion with Qantas Defence Services a few days ago, will be delivered next year.
The delivery of the aircraft to the RAAF follows an extensive development and test programme for what is the world’s only certified and flying new generation tanker/transport aircraft. Civil Supplemental Type Certificate was obtained in March 2010, and the military certification followed in October.
In RAAF service, the A330 MRTT will be 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 General Electric CF6-80E engines. It is equipped with a comprehensive defensive aids suite (DAS) and fitted with 270 passenger seats.