Monday, May 10, 2010
Delivery of RAAF Air Tanker Support Equipment to Begin
10 May 2010 -- Preparations have begun to deliver thousands of items of tooling and spare parts from Europe to Australia to support the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) new fleet of Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker-Transport (MRTT) air-to-air refuelling tankers.
As part of the Commonwealth’s AIR 5402 acquisition process under which Airbus Military is providing the RAAF with five such aircraft, designated by the air force as KC-30A MRTT, some 4,500 individual components - 500 units of Ground Support and Test equipment and 4,000 spares - will be delivered to 33 Squadron at RAAF Amberley, in Queensland, Australia, over the next three months.
The equipment will be needed when the first A330 MRTT enters squadron service at Amberley towards the end of the year.
Prime Contractor, Qantas Defence Services (QDS), and Airbus Military have signed a Through Life Support (TLS) Contract under which Airbus, through QDS, will ensure ongoing maintenance support to the A330 MRTT fleet over the next 22 years.
The signing was attended by the Chief Executive of Airbus Military, Mr. Domingo Urena, who had travelled from Spain for the occasion. Congratulating the parties, Mr. Domingo said: “Qantas and Airbus Military are the ideal team to deliver the level of services that our customer requires.”
As Prime Contractor, Qantas Defence Services will base some 50 engineering support personnel at RAAF Amberley to manage the Through Life Support programme. In its Design and Maintenance Support role, Airbus Military will provide QDS with Engineering, Logistics, Technical Data, Supply and Training support services. It will also assign two Field Service Representatives to 33 Squadron for three years to ensure a smooth entry into service.
The Through Life Support agreement also provides for future contracts to ensure additional support for the military aspects of the fleet, specifically Deep Maintenance, consolidating and expanding Airbus Military’s presence and role in Brisbane.
Australia has ordered five KC-30A MRTTs. By the end of the year two of these aircraft will have been delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force. Conversion of a third tanker-transport is underway at the Qantas Conversion Centre, Brisbane Airport.
To date, a total of 28 A330 Multi-Role Tanker-Transports have been ordered by four customers – Australia, Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. In addition to its air-to-air refuelling role, the MRTT can also be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry some 300 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb.
About the A330 MRTT
The Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is the most capable new generation aircraft in this category 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 tanks 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 up to 380 passengers 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.