The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has placed a firm order of six Airbus A330 MRTT tanker/transport aircraft on 7 March 2014.
Singapore’s choice of the A330 MRTT makes it the sixth nation to select the type following Australia (5 aircraft), Saudi Arabia (6), the United Arab Emirates (3), and the United Kingdom (14) which have ordered a total of 28 aircraft, and India which is in the final stages of contractual negotiations for six aircraft. The Spanish Air Force is said to be interested in three A330 MRTTs. A total of 17 aircraft are currently in service with the first four nations.
The A330 MRTT is a derivative of the A330 commercial airliner. The A330 MRTT, in service as KC-30A with the Royal Australian Air Force and as Voyager with the Royal Air Force, is the only new generation tanker/transport aircraft flying today. Its big future competitor will be the Boeing KC-46, which is still very much in the development phase.
The large 111 tonnes/ 245,000 lb basic fuel capacity of the A330-200 airliner, from which it is derived, enables the A330 MRTT to execute air-to-air refueling missions without the need for any additional fuel tank. The aircraft can be delivered with a boom system, and/or a pair of under-wing hose and drogue pods, and/or a fuselage refueling unit. In the airlift role the A330 MRTT is able to carry up to 300 troops or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb. It can also be converted to accommodate up to 130 stretchers for a medevac mission.
Source: Airbus Military with additional reporting by the AIRheads↑Fly editors
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