The 21st Century Benchmark for New Generation Tanker/Transport aircraft
The A330 MRTT is the only new-generation Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft fully certified, in operational service and combat proven now. The A330 MRTT uniquely offers military strategic air transport as well as superior air-to-air refuelling capabilities that have already been extensively proven in numerous real operations by current operators. With 46 aircraft sold to 6 Major Air Forces (Australia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore and France), the A330 MRTT is the preferred tanker/transport solution for current and future needs.
The A330 MRTT is the most capable Tanker/ Transport currently available. It is the only solution offering true multi-role capabilities: three different roles in one single platform.
• Aerial Refuelling (Tanker role)
• Passenger and/or freight transport
• Medical evacuation (MEDEVAC)
The A330 MRTT is able to perform all this roles in the same sortie without the need of reconfiguration, providing unique versatility in a wide range of varied missions worldwide. Able to carry up to 111 tonnes / 245,000 lb of fuel in its wings, the 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 and refuel any kind of receiver, without the need for any additional fuel tank, hereby avoiding any reduction in its ability to carry passengers or cargo.
Thanks to its inherited true wide-body fuselage, the A330 MRTT offers a great variety of configurations. It can be used as a pure 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 up to 130 stretchers for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions.
The Airbus Group tanker is the benchmark for new generation refuelling platforms: modern, adaptable and capable of carrying more passengers and freight whilst performing longer Air-to-Air Refuelling missions at the same time. The A330 MRTT is the most efficient way to succeed in your mission!
Benefits of a high commonality with a successful airliner
The A330 MRTT is derived from the highly successful Airbus A330-200 airliner, a medium-to-long range, twin aisle, twin engine aircraft. Features such as the most advanced technologies, composite materials and proven modern aerodynamic designs, make the A330-200 the most competitive economics solution. Additionally, the A330-200 provides a 99.6% reliability, which reads across directly into enhanced availability for military customers.
The A330-200 is the primary choice as a platform for a Multi Role Tanker Transport, offering the best performance at the lowest investment and costs. It provides the best value for money, with potential for long-term growth as confirmed by its continuing success in the market. The A330 family is in operation with over 110 commercial and military operators and more than 1100 platforms cross the sky daily; ensuring sustained production, upgrades and improvements of these aircraft for years to come, and guaranteeing competitively-priced spare parts. Furthermore, the existing 80% commonality with the civil A330-200 allows the A330 MRTT to be seamlessly integrated into the well-established global support Airbus Group network (for MRO and Logistics).
Unmatched Air-to-Air Refuelling Capabilities
Its basic fuel capacity (of 111 tonnes/245,000 lb) allows the A330 MRTT to carry and offload more fuel than any competitor and due to its efficient powerplants, to conduct the full range of primary AAR and transport missions with exceptional range. Retaining its genuine Multi Role capability, the A330 MRTT is fully interoperable with Probe-equipped and Slipway-equipped receivers on the same mission with no need for tanker reconfiguration. The A330 MRTT is a combat proven platform that delivers all required air-to-air refuelling and air transport capabilities whilst enhancing interoperability.
Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS)
To refuel receptacle-equipped aircraft such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35A Lightning II, or even the A330 MRTT itself (when fitted with an UARRSI), the A330 MRTT is provided with the advanced Airbus Defence & Space Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS).
Its fast fuel flow rate (up to a maximum of 3600 kg/min – 1200 US gal/min) makes the ARBS the most capable new generation flight proven Boom available.
Excellent handling qualities are provided for the operation of the ARBS, rated as such by independent assessments.
Under-wing Pods provide simultaneous Hose and Drogue refuelling at high fuel offload rate (1300 kg/min – 420 US gal/min), allowing receivers to minimise refuelling time and increase operation efficiency.
The Cobham 905E Under-Wing Pods, currently in service and proven in operation, enable the A330 MRTT to refuel any NATO or allied Probe-equipped receivers such as the Eurofighter, the Tornado, the Jaguar, the F/A18 Hornet or the Sukhoi 30. The A330 MRTT physical compatibility with receivers across the world is established, demonstrated and certified to allow coalition interoperability.
The 900 series Wing-Pods incorporate a digitally controlled and electrically operated Hose drum unit, optimizing reliability and maintainability.
Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU)
Large probe-equipped aircraft such as the A400M or C295, can be refuelled, at a high fuel offload rate of 1800 kg/min – 600 US gal/min via the Cobham 805E Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU).
The FRU, a removable Hose and Drogue unit, allows refuelling receivers with a different fuel type. This option assures NATO fuel type to be transferred from Wing-Pods, while an alternative fuel type is dispensed from the FRU.
Those Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) systems are controlled from an advanced Fuel Operator Console that is positioned in the cockpit, increasing the safety of the AAR operation by ensuring a timely and synchronized reaction of the flight crew to unexpected events. It also features an Enhanced Vision System, a high definition 2D/3D digital system that allows to perform day and night refuelling and can provide high resolution video recording of the refuelling operations.
The A330 MRTT is the most effective tanker based on its unmatched fuel capacity that allows it to offload more fuel at any given distance than any competitor. More fuel on-board means more flexibility, more range and longer time on station. This enormous fuel capacity allows the A330 MRTT to act as a force multiplier, thus, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of fast jets operations.
On towline mission, the A330 MRTT can be on station at about 1,000 nm / 1,600km from its base for some 4 hours 30 minutes, with the capability to provide 50 tonnes / 110,000 lb of fuel for needing receivers. Or it can provide 60 tonnes / 132,000 lb of fuel while remaining on station for five hours at 500 nm / 930 km from base.
It also enables, for example, four Eurofighters to fly 3,600 nm / 6,700 km by refuelling them en-route, or, when carrying 20 tonnes / 44,100 lb of payload, to deploy four fighters a distance of 2,800 nm / 5,200km.
This exceeds by far what any other current tanker can offer. It is therefore an unmatchable force multiplier, enhancing significantly the range or endurance of any fighter.
“This aircraft can take six fighters from Australia to the mainland United States happily. It’s loiter time and offload is almost twice of a US Air Force KC-10 Extender”
Air Cdr Gary Martin, former RAAF Air Lift Commander
Multi-Role Strategic Transport with Global Reach
With its true widebody fuselage, the A330 MRTT is ideal to carry any kind of military or humanitarian payload on strategic missions.
Furnished with an attractively modern design, the cabin is conceived to ensure optimum seating configurations in every class, maximising capacity and providing airline comfort. These features enable a complete range of configurations, from pure passenger and troop transport
to the complex customization required for VIP guests
. For example, it can accommodate 266 passengers in a typical two class’s configuration, or some 300 in a single class layout.
The A330 MRTT is capable of carrying a payload of up to 45 tonnes / 99,000 lb. The versatility of the A330 MRTT enables cargo to be conveniently stored within the lower deck in a variety of cargo options covering the full range of existing under floor cargo containers and pallets, ranging from the LD1 to LD3 and LD6, as well as the standard 88x108 inch 463-L NATO military pallets, Some of the cargo can also be carried as non-palletised “bulk”.
The A330 MRTT is also an outstanding strategic Aeromedical evacuation (Medevac) aircraft. Its large fuselage permits maximum flexibility for up to 130 NATO stretchers to be carried over intercontinental distances. In a ‘light medevac’ configuration, medical beds can be installed above designated fold-down seats. This allows the aircraft to be used as a troop transport on an outbound relief mission, with medical beds stowed in the lower cargo compartments, and then rapidly converted for Medevac on the return. In an ‘intensive medevac’ configuration, critical care modules can be installed to replicate an intensive care unit in the air. The aircraft could typically carry 28 NATO stretchers, up to six critical care modules, 20 seats for medical staff, and 100 passenger seats.
Representing the state-of-the-art in its category, the A330-200 has a range of up to 8,000 nm/ 14,800 km, with a maximum speed of Mach 0.86, which translate in outstanding transport performances for the A330 MRTT providing global reach to military operators.
The A330 MRTT is certified for two-crew transport operation and has the most advanced Flight Deck in the tanker/transport market today. The A330 MRTT fully benefits from the latest advances in commercial aircraft cockpit design, including advanced avionics, the only state-of-the-art human machine interface (HMI) in service and Fly-By-Wire (FBW) controls. It provides higher reliability, by reducing crew workload and enhancing situational awareness, thus dispensing crews with spare capacity to enhance mission success.
The A330 MRTT is offered with a customised suite of military avionics and a mission system integrated with civil avionics. The A330 MRTT aircraft is fitted with a comprehensive state-of-the-art self-protection system to ensure their survivability in a high-threat environment, including a Defensive Aid System (DAS), fuel tank inerting system and an armoured cockpit.
The A330 MRTT is the best value tanker due to its unrivalled capability (with 40% saving in fuel consumption per ton of fuel transported/transferred) and availability (99.6% reliability from civil platform), low risk, growth potential and low operating cost, making it the optimum solution.