Belgian Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder signs for a second “Belgian” A330 MRTT refuelling and transport aircraft

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© Jozef Vanden Broeck

This Thursday, March 23, 2023, in Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Belgian Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder signed the memorandum of understanding for the purchase of a second “Belgian” Airbus A330 aircraft for in-flight refuelling and transport (“Multirole Tanker Transport” or MRTT) for NATO. This signature took place in the presence of the Ministers of Defence of the participating countries and of Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO.

On this occasion, Minister Dedonder confirmed Belgium’s investment of 265 million euros in the project. This represents the price of a second tanker aircraft with accessories. This participation will increase the size of the fleet to ten aircraft by 2027. Currently, the Multinational Unit has seven aircraft out of the nine already planned.

Since its creation in 2019 and the delivery of the first Airbus A330 MRTT in the summer of 2020, the unit has been deployed on several occasions in the context of peace and security operations, in particular for the transport of Afghan refugees to the Netherlands during Operation Red Kite. Since the invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russia, the aircraft have logged more than 1,500 flight hours, representing 500 refuelling missions for NATO fighter planes, to protect our borders. In the fall of 2023, the unit will be deployed to the Middle East, where it will participate in the fight against Daesh/ISIS.

The unit should be fully operational by the end of 2024.

March 24, 2023

 

Source: BelDefNews

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