Airbus Defence and Space has successfully completed the maiden flight of the first new standard A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport. The three-hour flight took place on 30th September, and the crew reported that the aircraft performed “in line with expectations.”
This model incorporates a number of enhancements introduced on the commercial A330, from which it is derived, as well as upgraded military systems as part of Airbus and Airbus Defence and Space’s continuous product improvement programme.
Launched in June 2014, the new standard A330 MRTT features structural modifications, aerodynamic improvements giving a fuel-burn reduction of up to 1%, upgraded avionics computers and enhanced military systems. It does not include the improvements featured on the re-engined A330neo.
First delivery is now scheduled for 2018, one year than targeted at programme launch. A total of 51 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by 10 nations, of which 28 have been delivered.