Today in our blog we are talking about one of the programs in which M&M Group is involved: the Airbus A330 MRTT.
Based on the A330-200, the A330 MRTT is a new generation military tanker aircraft with unique multipurpose capabilities for air forces. These include refueling, transport, medical evacuation (MedEvac) and long-range fighter deployment.
The A330 MRTT can carry up to 111 tons of fuel. This is the highest capacity of all tanker aircraft, even those with additional fuel tanks on the cargo deck. It is capable of offloading 50,000 kg of fuel to a wide range of receivers during a four-hour loiter mission more than 1,000 MN from its take-off point.
On the transport side, the A330 MRTT can carry a maximum payload of up to 45 tons, combining passenger cabin and lower deck: up to 300 passengers; MedEvac cabin layout with 40 stretchers, 20 seats for medical personnel and 100 passengers; up to 37 tons of cargo on the lower deck; 27 LD3 containers or eight military pallets.
Another typical mission is the deployment of fighter aircraft over long distances. The A330 MRTT can support the deployment of four fighter aircraft plus 50 people and 12 tons of cargo (baggage, spare parts and equipment) on a direct flight of more than 5,200 km, for example, from Europe to Afghanistan.
The A330 MRTT is also an excellent strategic aeromedical evacuation (MedEvac) aircraft. Its large fuselage allows maximum flexibility to transport up to 130 NATO stretchers over intercontinental distances. In a “light medevac” configuration, medical beds can be installed on top of the designated folding seats. This allows the aircraft to be used as a troop transport on an outbound relief mission, with the medical beds stowed in the lower cargo compartments, and then quickly converted to MedEvac on the return. In an “Intensive MedEvac” configuration, critical care modules can be installed to replicate an intensive care unit in the air. The aircraft can normally carry 28 NATO stretchers, up to six critical care modules, 20 seats for medical personnel and 100 passenger seats.
Spain, A330 MRTT country
All this versatility made Spain part of the list of countries that, like Australia, France, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom or NATO itself, have decided to take advantage of the A330 MRTT’s features. In November 2021, the Ministry of Defense acquired three A330-200 model units that belonged to Iberia and which will be fitted out as military transports at the Airbus factory in Getafe. They will be equipped with a state-of-the-art hose and drogue refueling system and a specific MedEvac kit. The A330 MRTT fleet will be operated by the 45th Wing of the Spanish Air Force, based at Torrejón Air Base (Madrid).
In this video we know a little better this “multipurpose” in which more and more armies around the world rely on: