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.
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.
Great news for our MMF partner nations 🇧🇪🇨🇿🇩🇪🇱🇺🇳🇱🇳🇴After completing its acceptance process, our second Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) aicraft✈️is in the air & will be soon welcomed by the @A330_MMU at its home base in Eindhoven 🇳🇱
👉More info: https://t.co/7ysTxX34d6 pic.twitter.com/DDcpib82Gs
— NATO Support and Procurement Agency (@NSPA_NATO) August 10, 2020