Artists impression of the RAF's A330-200 Future Strategic Tanker refuelling two RAF Typhoons

The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian A330-200.

The A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is a military derivative of the Airbus A330 airliner. It is designed as a dual-role air refuelling tanker and cargo transport aircraft. The wing air refuelling pods are supplied by Cobham. The cargo hold has been modified by Telair to be able to transport military pallets in addition to civilian ULD.

The A330 has a large internal fuel capacity of 111,000 kg / 122 tons in the wings; fuel capacity can be further increased with underfloor tanks, which would not compromise main deck cargo capacity or seating in the strategic transport role. Standard fuel capacity allows the carriage of an additional 43,000 kg of cargo. Another major benefit of the A330 MRTT is the use of the same wing as the four engined A340-200/-300. This allows the A330 MRTT to use the two extra hardpoints of the A340 wing for the placement of refuelling pods.

The A330 MRTT has been selected by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) (5 aircraft), as well as the UK under the RAF's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) project (possibly 10 aircraft), to take the place of older tanker aircraft. In both cases the A330 MRTT competed against the Boeing 767 AAR derivative. The RAF will replace its ageing Vickers VC10 and Lockheed Tristar based tankers, while the RAAF is replacing its veteran 707 tanker/transports. Further orders were announced in 2007 from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for three and two aircraft respectively.

The RAF aircraft will operate solely in the probe and drogue role, while Australia's five airframes will also be equipped with a refuelling boom.

A330 TANKER Specifications
Type Dual Role tanker and passenger aircraft
Manufacturer Airbus
Accommodation 3 crew and up to 290 passenger
Armament None
Performance Max speed 600km/h
Wing Span 60.30m
Length 59.69m
Height 17.89m
Weight weight empty 120,500kg, max take off weight 230,000kg, payload, 61,300kg, six NATO pallets
Powerplant two Rolls-Royce Trent 772B with 71,100lb thrust each

Photo Copyright EADS