Airbus Military delivers First A330 for Conversion into MRTT to Cobham in the UK

On September 2,Airbus Military delivered the first Airbus A330-200 aircraft to Bournemouth, UK-based Cobham Aviation Services for conversion into the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) configuration for the Royal Air Force (RAF). This aircraft is the third of the 14 A330 MRTTs the Royal Air Force has contracted through AirTanker, a joint venture company also in charge of operating the aircraft. The first two aircraft have already been converted at Airbus Military´s facility in Getafe (Madrid), Spain.

9th Sep 2011


Airbus Military delivers First A330 for Conversion into MRTT to Cobham in the UK



On September 2,Airbus Military delivered the first Airbus A330-200 aircraft to Bournemouth, UK-based
Cobham Aviation Services for conversion into the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA)
configuration for the Royal Air Force (RAF). This aircraft is the third of the 14 A330 MRTTs
the Royal Air Force has contracted through AirTanker, a joint venture company also in
charge of operating the aircraft. The first two aircraft have already been converted at Airbus
Military´s facility in Getafe (Madrid), Spain.

To mark the arrival of the aircraft on their premises, Cobham hosted a ceremony today at
their newly refurbished facility. Representatives from the RAF, UK Ministry of Defence,
Airbus Military and AirTanker attended.

As part of the conversion programme, all the A330 MRTTs - which will be known in RAF
service as "Voyager" - will be fitted with two wing-mounted 905E aerial refuelling pods;
additionally seven "Voyagers" will be fitted for 805E centre-line mounted fuselage refuelling
units. The first aircraft will commence operations by the end of this year, with the RAF
operating the full fleet of 14 aircraft by the second half of the decade to replace its existing
TriStar and VC10 aerial refuelling aircraft.

Head of Airbus Military Derivatives Antonio Caramazana said: "This is another important
milestone in the A330 MRTT Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft programme. It is an enormous
pleasure to see the programme moving into the next phase with the conversion of the aircraft
now beginning with Cobham in the home country of our biggest customer".

Air Marshal Kevin Leeson, Chief of Materiel (Air), said: "The conversions carried out at this
tremendous new Cobham facility will turn Airbus A330s into the most capable military tanker
transport aircraft of its type in the world. Today we celebrate the arrival of the first aircraft into
the Cobham Conversion Centre. Voyager will provide enhanced levels of availability,
reliability and comfort for its passengers. Its 4000 mile range carrying 291 passengers and
freight will allow the UK to respond to world events with great speed. The air-to-air refuelling
systems will provide access to an impressive 111 tonne fuel capacity and enable Voyager to
refuel a large variety of platforms, from Typhoon jets to A400M transports".
 

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