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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.
The Royal Saudi Air Force operate a fleet of six A330 MRTT tankers which are configured with a pair of drogues refuelling pods on the wings and a boom at the rear of the fuselage. The first aircraft entered operational use during February 2013 and the fleet is assigned to 24 squadron which is based at Prince Sultan Air Base, Al-Kharj.
The RSAF will be sending one of their A330 MRTT to RIAT 2023 for static display to take part in our Skytanker theme.
Photo Credit: Airbus