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France orders three more Airbus A330 MRTT tankers
Airbus A330 MRTT for French AF. © Airbus DS / Hervé Goussé / master films

France orders three more Airbus A330 MRTT tankers

Airbus Defence and Space has received a firm order from the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for a further three A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft.

Airbus Defence and Space has received a firm order from the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for a further three A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft.

The aircraft, designated Phénix by the French Air Force, constitute the third and final tranche of the multi-year contract for 12 A330 MRTTs signed by the French Ministry of Defence in 2014.

The first of the fleet was formally handed over in October and the next 11 aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2023 under an accelerated timescale requested by France.

Orders for a further three aircraft are scheduled under the French multiyear defence spending bill (LPM) for 2019-2025.

In French service the A330 MRTT will be equipped with a combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods. The aircraft can be configured in a variety of layouts carrying up to 272 passengers as well as medevac arrangements including the French MORPHEE intensive care module carrying up to ten patients as well as 88 passengers.

The A330 MRTT has been ordered by 12 nations which have placed firm orders for 60 aircraft to date, of which 34 have been delivered.

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