NATO Support and Procurement Agency delivers second Airbus A330MRTT to the multinational unit

0
489

Today, the second Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) aircraft was delivered to the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU), at the Main Operating Base in Eindhoven (The Netherlands). Upon completion of the acceptance process, the ownership of the aircraft was transferred (through OCCAR) from Airbus Defence and Space to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), who manages the fleet on behalf of the nations. The aircraft will go straight into an airworthiness review, upon its arrival in Eindhoven.

The Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) fleet will soon enter into service to provide strategic transport, air-to-air refuelling and medical evacuation capabilities to its six participating nations (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Norway), demonstrating a best practice example of multi-national cooperation.

The first aircraft was delivered on 30 June 2020 and has been performing training missions for the unit for the last weeks. Now, it will undergo a routine maintenance check (A-check).

The third, fourth and fifth aircraft are currently under conversion at the Airbus DS facilities and the rest of the fleet will follow until the end of 2024. The full fleet will consist of eight Multi-role tanker transport aircraft, with an option to extend the contract up to 11 aircraft in the future. The aircraft are owned by NATO and managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) with the support of the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) on the acquisition phase.

Acceptance team minutes before the take-off (from left to right: NSPA representative, MMU crew and OCCAR representative)

Background

In 2012, the European Defence Agency (EDA) started to address the long-standing European shortfall in the air-to-air refuelling capacity. Since then, this initiative has grown into a mature programme managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), on behalf of the nations.

The Netherlands and Luxembourg initially launched the programme in July 2016, with the first as the lead nation of the project. Germany and Norway joined in 2017, Belgium followed in early 2018 and the Czech Republic lastly joined the MMF programme in October 2019.

The MMF aircraft will be operated by the Multinational Multirole Tanker Transport Unit (MMU) comprising of military personnel from the participating countries. The unit is based in two permanent operating bases, the Main Operating Base in Eindhoven and the Forward Operating Base in Cologne-Wahn (Germany). Among the eight MMF aircraft, five will be based in Eindhoven, and three in Cologne.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.