The multinational MRTT fleet now has 7 aircraft with the arrival of 2 new A330 MRTTs in Eindhoven

A330 MRTT take-off from Brussels Airport © Jozef Vanden Broeck

Within three days last week, the multinational MRTT fleet received two new aircraft, registered T-059 and T-060, at its Eindhoven base. These are the only two deliveries for the year 2022 after three deliveries in 2020 and two in 2021. The last two A330 MRTTs will arrive in 2024.

With the war in Ukraine and the launch of the new NATO Enhanced Vigilance Activities (eVA) system to strengthen the protection of the airspace of Eastern European countries, the A330 MRTTs were widely used. In July, NATO Air Command reported that the MRTT fleet had refuelled more than 750 aircraft in about 160 missions. In mid-August, three A330 MRTTs will take part in the Rapid Pacific 2022 exercise organised by the Luftwaffe, which will deploy six Eurofighters and three A400Ms. The goal is to reach Singapore in just 24 hours. Arrived in the Indo-Pacific, they will stay there for several weeks to participate in the Pitch Black exercise with France and Australia in particular, as well as the international naval exercise Kakadu organised by the Australian Navy.

The MMF programme (Multinational MRTT Fleet) brings together six European countries: Germany (5,500 flight hours), the Netherlands (2,000 flight hours), Luxembourg (1,200 flight hours), Belgium (1,000 flight hours), Norway and the Czech Republic (100 flight hours each). The acquisition of the nine A330 MRTTs was carried out by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), under the aegis of NATO. The logistics management of the fleet is provided by NSPA, NATO’s support and procurement agency.

With the STAR plan, Belgium plans to acquire a second aircraft, i.e. 1,000 flight hours, at par with The Netherlands. That would bring the MRTT fleet to ten aircraft.

Source: Defence Belgium

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