Arrival of Next Airbus A330 in Brisbane

Airbus 330. (Foto: Airbus)

June 25, 2009 -- Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced that the next commercial Airbus A330-200 aircraft has arrived at Brisbane airport for its conversion into a multi role tanker transport (KC-30 Tanker) for use by the Royal Australian Air Force.

This aircraft is being acquired under Project Air 5402. Under this project five air to air refuelling aircraft are being purchased from Spanish company EADS CASA (now known as Airbus Military). This involves the conversion of commercial A330-200 Airbus into military air to air refuellers (KC 30 Tankers).

“The aircraft which is known as Manufacturer’s Serial Number 969, is the third A330-200 to be delivered from Airbus for this project and will be the second aircraft to be converted to a KC-30 tanker by Qantas in Australia,” said Mr Combet.

“This is good news for Brisbane and Qantas. The project also demonstrates the ability of Australian defence industry to engage in complex military aviation projects.”

“The ability to refuel aircraft in the air provides the ADF with a stronger capability by allowing a fixed number of aircraft to remain airborne longer, carry more ordnance or fly further than would otherwise be the case. This will help augment our air combat capability by extending the range and endurance of our fighters,” said Mr Combet.

“The KC 30 Tanker will also add to our air-lift capability with the capacity to carry 270 troops and significant quantities of stores over significant distances.”

“The first (prototype) aircraft, MSN747, has now successfully completed the second sub-phase of developmental flight testing which is devoted to boom free flight data gathering and validation of the KC-30 receiver and tanker flight control laws.”

“MSN747 has successfully performed dry contacts as a receiver with the EADS A310 Boom Demonstrator and a French Air Force C-135 tanker. It has completed its first dry contact using the new-generation Cobham 905E hose and drogue refuelling pods with a Spanish Air Force F/A-18 fighter on 28 May 2009.”

“The second aircraft, MSN 951, being the first to be converted to a KC-30 tanker by Qantas in Australia, is progressing well and is expected to return to Madrid, Spain later this year for completion of the extensive certification and qualification flight test program.”

MSN 951 is currently expected to be the first aircraft to be accepted from Airbus Military, around mid-2010, for entry into RAAF service, as A39 002.

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