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Australian Department of Defence announces Initial Operational Capability for the Airbus Military A330 MRTT

From left to right: AIRCDRE Gary Martin, Commander RAAF Air Lift Group; The Honourable Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Defence; AIRMSHL Geoffrey Brown, Chief of Air Force.

The Australian Department of Defence has declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of the Airbus Military KC-30A - its designation for the A330 MRTT.

The announcement was made on the opening day of the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, by Minister for Defence Stephen Smith (pictured above) and Minister for Defence Materiel Mike Kelly.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) accepted the fifth and final MRTT from Airbus Military on 30 November last year. The aircraft was delivered to RAAF Base Amberley in early December 2012.  As well, the RAAF completed the first Australian pilot and Air Refuelling Operator courses at the MRTT training centre (RAAF Base Amberley) in December 2012.

Airbus Military Vice President Derivative Programmes, Antonio Caramazana said: “We very much welcome the announcement of the Initial Operating Capability of the KC-30A. This reinforces the fact that the A330 MRTT is the world´s only certified and flying new generation tanker/transport and the RAAF is to be commended for its dedication and commitment to bringing the aircraft to operational status.”

In RAAF service the A330 MRTT is 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. Powered by two General Electric CF6-80E engines, the aircraft equipped with a comprehensive defensive aids suite (DAS) and fitted with 270 passenger seats.

The group picture can be downloaded in high-resolution from http://bit.ly/WfFvRh, and also from the Multimedia section.

A picture of the aircraft can be downloaded from 
http://bit.ly/X7PKWm, and also from the Multimedia section (picture supplied by Andrew Mclaughlin).

About A330 MRTT

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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