Feb 23, 2014

France To Take 2 A330 MRTT Versions

The French Air Force has agreed to take two versions of the A330 MRTT aircraft, with the first type to be equipped with off-the-shelf avionics and refueling system.
France has been cleared to order 12 Airbus A330 MRTT to replace their aging 14-strong fleet of C-135 FR jets.
The service had asked for a cargo door, a specific refueling rig and a satcom datalink, but a lack of funds and a need for early delivery led to an order of two versions of the MRTT aircraft.
The first tranche will be equipped with avionics and a central boom and an underwing drogue and hose system already developed, to be delivered as soon as possible.
A second MRTT version includes the cargo door and a datalink that allows the plane to receive information from the Rafale fighter.
The first aircraft type will later be retrofitted.
The service had asked for a central drogue and hose to be added to the boom system so that its version could be refueled in flight. Those features have been canceled.
Under the 2014-19 multiyear budget law, two MRTT units are to be ordered, with the others to follow.

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