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Canadian Government orders four new Airbus A330 MRTTs

The Government has ordered four newly-built Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft (MRTT)
The Government of Canada has ordered four newly built Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft (MRTT) © Airbus

The Government of Canada has awarded Airbus Defence and Space with a contract for four newly built Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft (MRTT) and for the conversion of five used A330-200s in a quest to strengthen Canada's defence capabilities. The current contract has an value of approximately CA$3 billion or 2.1€ billion (excluding taxes).

Known as the Strategic Tanker Transport Capability (STTC), this new fleet of aircraft will replace the ageing CC-150 Polaris (A310 MRTT), operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The existing A310 fleet is being used to perform air-to-air refuelling operations, military and personnel and cargo airlift, medical evacuations, as well as strategic transport of Government of Canada officials.

“As the world's most advanced multirole tanker aircraft, the A330 MRTT perfectly matches Canada's needs to protect its sovereignty as well as to enhance operations both in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) as well as in NATO,” said Mike Schoellhorn, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space. “Canada achieves this enhancement of operations not only by improving interoperability with allied A330 MRTT customer nations but also due to the aircraft's technological primacy ahead of the global competition.”

The newly-built A330-200s will be assembled at the A330 aircraft Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France. Scheduled to enter into conversion at A330 MRTT facilities in Getafe, Spain, in mid-2025, the first MRTT will be delivered to the RCAF in 2027. 

Under the agreement, the A330 MRTTs will be equipped with both the hose and drogue and a boom as refuelling options, cybersecurity solutions and countermeasures. All of them could be installed with the also included Airbus Medical Evacuation kit solution, consisting of two Intensive Care Units and additional stretchers.

The contract covers a full suite of services including the most advanced training devices such as the Full Flight to prepare and maintain crew readiness as part of the modernisation of the Canadian Armed Forces' air operational training infrastructure. (£1.00 = €1.17 = CA$1.71).

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