Jun 11, 2014

Airbus Defence To Test-Fly Upgraded A330 Tanker in 2016

Airbus Defence will start test-flying an enhanced version of the A330 MRTT tanker transport in the second half of 2016 and intends to adopt the new standard with the delivery of the first platform to Singapore.
The improvements will include upgrades to the military systems and the green A330 aircraft itself.
The new package of military modifications will include upgrades to mission systems, refueling boom control laws, decluttering the boom visual systems and mission planning systems.
Installation of the IFF Mode 5 will make the aircraft compatible with the civil regulations.
The aerodynamic modifications relate primarily to changes to the slats and flaps on the wing.
Conversion of an MRTT Enhanced prototype is planned to start in October of next year with the flight test program getting underway in July the following year.
Singapore will be the first customer for the update and all future deliveries after late 2017 will receive the new configuration.
Work on the boom control laws was prompted by a Royal Australian Air Force requirement to have current standards supplemented by additional capability to enhance the accuracy of large aircraft receiving fuel from the A330.
Aircraft are in service with Australia, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The A330 secured a contract from Singapore earlier this year and Airbus is in final negotiations with Qatar, France and India.

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