Three Nations Join In on European Multirole Tanker Transport Fleet

By Juliet Van Wagenen | December 31, 2014
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[Avionics Today 12-31-2014] The Netherlands, Poland and Norway have decided to prepare negotiations with Airbus Defence & Space for the acquisition of a fleet of A330 MRTT multirole transport and air-to-air refueling aircraft.

A330 MRTT multirole transport and air-to-air refueling aircraft
Bahrain International Airport. Photo: Bahrain International Airport

The initiative, facilitated by the European Defence Agency (EDA), consists of the pooled acquisition and operation of a common fleet of aircraft by the three nations. Other nations will also be able to contribute to the overall program through joining the acquisition phase or in-service phase. An initial operating capability is expected for 2019.

A single configuration has been selected for this common fleet of multirole tanker transport aircraft, which should all be equipped with a rigid boom as well as underwing pods, thus allowing to refuel a large variety of receivers. They will also meet the users’ requirements in terms of passenger transport, strategic airlift and medical evacuation. By developing synergies with similar fleets, the nations will further contribute to a reduced fragmentation and increased interoperability of air-to-air refueling aircraft in Europe.

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