Airbus was selected by Australia to develop an update and modernization of the communication and mission system for the MRTT (A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport) fleet of the Australian Royal Air Force (RAAF).
The scope of work that will meet the Air Force’s interoperability requirements as per their new operational requirements will mainly include a retrofit package that will include new and additional enhanced communication capabilities and mission systems, upgraded to the latest A330 MRTT – simulate the latest copies.
Step by step
In Phase 1, which is split into two contracts, Airbus will develop and integrate more basic systems, while Phase 2 will install more complex kits and certifications. There will also be an exchange of knowledge during these steps so that the next aircraft will be modernized by the Australian Air Force itself. In addition, Airbus provides the necessary data packages and support to ensure the update functions in the flight simulator, in the instructor for integrated procedures and in the flight refueling operator’s console task trainer.
The aim of the update is to provide a cost-effective solution that adapts the RAAF fleet to Airbus’ world-class quality and capacity standards and meets the latest interoperability requirements for the Australian armed forces and their allies.
The KCT 30A MRTT (as the A330 is called in the RAAF) is equipped with two types of on-board refueling systems: an Advanced Refueling Boom System, which is attached to the rear of the aircraft; and a pair of fully electric hose capsules under each wing. These systems are controlled by an air refueler in the cockpit, which can display refueling on 2D and 3D screens. The KC-30A can carry a 111-ton load of fuel and transfer some of that load to compatible aircraft, including other KC-30A.
Based on the A330-200 airliner, of which more than 1,700 aircraft are in service worldwide, the A330 MRTT combines the advanced technology of a new generation tank with operational experience recorded during more than 200,000 hours of flight. In total, the A330 MRTT has already delivered and in service 61 orders and 45 aircraft.