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  • RAF Commences MRTT Ops
    Posted by Robert Wall 7:54 AM on Apr 10, 2012

    It has taken a few months longer than planned, but the Royal Air Force has now begun the process of modernizing its air-to-air refueling fleet with the first in-service flight of one of 14 Airbus Military A330-based Multirole Tanker Transports.

    The training mission took place on April 8 from RAF Brize Norton, the eventual home base for all 14 tankers operated under a fee-for-service arrangement by the AirTanker consortium. All 14 aircraft are to be delivered by 2016, with a nine aircraft core fleet ready for service by May 2014, the consortium notes.

    blog post photo
    (Credit: RAF)

    The first four aircraft are due to be at Brize Norton still this year -- the second aircraft is already built, with two more under conversion by Cobham.

    The first aircraft was delivered late last year, but it took U.K. Defense Ministry officials longer than expected to complete the paperwork for formal service introduction.

    Half the U.K. fleet will be three-point tankers (with a centerline drogue-and-probe capability), with the other half two-point tankers. The aircraft can also be used to transport up to 291 troops.

    Tags: ar99, Airbus

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