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Airbus validates final refuelling system of A330 MRTT for UK

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An A330 MRTT conducting mid-air refuelling on two F-16 fighters. An EADS photo

GETAFE, SPAIN (BNS): Successfully demonstrating its mid-air refuelling capability, an A330 Multi-role Transport Tanker (MRTT) aircraft for the UK Air Force has transferred fuel to two Spanish fighter jets.

The aircraft successfully passed fuel to two F-18 fighters of the Spanish Air Force by using its Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU) for the first time.

In a three hour 10 min sortie from Getafe near Madrid on 21st January, the Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) variant for the UK Royal Air Force conducted a series of “wet contacts” with two F-18 fighters of the Spanish Air Force, Airbus Military said.

The tanker transferred fuel to both the warplanes at an altitude of around 15,000ft and at speeds from 250kt to 325kt.

The full complement of refuelling systems which can equip the A330 MRTT, and which have now all been demonstrated, consists of: the FRU, the underwing hose-and-drogue, and the Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), plus the Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI) used to receive fuel from another tanker.

Britain has ordered 14 A330 MRTTs which will be inducted in the Royal Air Force as the Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) variant.

The first aircraft is expected to enter service with the RAF later this year.

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A330 MRTT  RAF  Airbus  
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