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Based on the A330 airliner, the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is an aerial refueller and transport aircraft. To date 16 countries have ordered over 68 aircraft and the type is competing for the USAF KC-Y tanker competition as the Lockheed Martin LMXT. The MRTT is equipped to refuel other aircraft mid-air by the probe and drogue system or using a remotely operated boom. Airbus has demonstrated advanced refuelling technology using a boom equipped A330 MRTT where by aircraft have been refuelled autonomously without any input from a boom operator within the aircraft. In addition to aerial refuelling, the MRTT can also carry up to 380 passengers or less in VIP configurations or up to 45,000kg of cargo.
Whilst associated with NATO the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) provides a common European tanker fleet which is funded and operated by its member states. The MMF membership currently includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Czech Republic and Germany. The A330 MRTTs that the MMF operate are ordered from Airbus on the organisations behalf by NATO and deliveries commenced in 2020. Originally nine aircraft were ordered with five to be based at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands and four at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany. During March 2023 a tenth aircraft was ordered.
The MMF will be making their RIAT debut this and will be providing one of their A330 MRTTs for static display as part of our SKYTANKER theme. The aircraft is usually based at Eindhoven Air Base.
Photo Credit: Airbus