The current price for an Airbus A330 MRTT tanker is $ 300 million estimated, which is not small.
If there is a shortage of air refueling aircraft, the most dangerous fighter types will be only birds with broken wings.
World history has proven that powerful, speedy and maneuverable squadrons can quickly reach every point exactly as needed, whether in the Gulf, East Asia, the Arctic or Africa. But, all are impossible without the help of the “big guys” named tanker. Even Air Force One jet will not be able to fulfill the function of carrying the US president on a long-term flight without air refueling.
Over time, refueling tankers also evolved, improved flight efficiency as well as the amount of fuel it could carry, ensuring the combat ability of the squadron. The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport is among the new generation tankers, promising to be the ideal choice to replace aging tankers.
The current price for an Airbus A330 MRTT tanker is $ 300 million estimated, which is not small. The design of the A330 tanker is based on the successful A330-200 passenger aircraft.
According to Airbus, the new generation Airbus A330 MRTT is the perfect replacement for older aircraft under fleet replacement programmes. With 60 total aircraft sales as of February 2019, the A330 MRTT has been ordered by the Royal Air Force, French Air Force and Republic of Korea Air Force, among others.
The Airbus A330 MRTT has a length of 58.8m, a wingspan of 60.3m, a height of 17.4m and a wing area of 362 square meters. The empty weight and maximum takeoff weight are 125 tons and 233 tons, respectively. It can be seen that this is a medium sized aircraft, designed with a wide body, two engines suspended under the wings.
Retractable undercarriage system with a two-wheel nose undercarriage and two four-wheel bogie main legs support the aeroplane on the ground. The swept wings were designed in a long slender shape with a very high aspect ratio to provide high aerodynamic efficiency. Each wing also has a winglet instead of the wingtip fences found on earlier Airbus aircraft.
The Airbus A330 MRTT fuselage is a common shape, The tail consists of a large vertical tail fin located on two smaller horizontal planes, which are also swept back.
The Airbus A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport shares the same glass cockpit flight deck layout as the A320 and the A340, featuring electronic instrument displays rather than mechanical gauges. the flight deck features side-stick controls, six main displays, and the Electronic Flight Instrument System, which covers navigation and flight displays, as well as the Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor.
Apart from the flight deck, the tanker also has the fly-by-wire system common to the A320 family, the A340, the A350, and the A380. The pilot and co-pilot positions have sidestick controllers and rudder pedals.
The Airbus A330 MRTT tanker transporter aircraft cockpit has a refuelling officer’s station behind the pilot and co-pilot seats. The aircraft is equipped with an Airbus future navigation system, including a Honeywell flight management system and Smiths digital control and display system.
Airbus offers customers the option of an engine, two engines fitted to the A330 MRTT could be the Rolls-Royce Trent 772B, or General Electric CF6-80E1A4, or Pratt & Whitney PW 4170, each provides approximately 320 kiloNewton thrust.
The Airbus A330 MRTT can reach a maximum speed of 880 km/h, a service ceiling of 13,000m, a combat radius of 1,800 km with 50 tons of fuel for 4 hours.
The A330 MRTT has a maximum fuel capacity of 111,000 kg without the use of additional fuel tanks, which leaves space for the carriage of 45,000 kg of additional cargo. All the aircraft can be fitted with two Cobham FRL 900E Mark 32B refuelling pods, one under each wing.
The A330 MRTT cabin can be modified to carry up to 380 passengers in a single class configuration, allowing a complete range of configurations from maximised troop transport to complex customisation suitable for VIP and guest missions.
The A330 MRTT can also be configured to perform Medical Evacuation missions; up to 130 standard stretchers can be carried. The main deck cargo configuration allows carriage of standard commercial containers and pallets, military pallets, military equipment and other large items which are loaded through a cargo door.
The A330 MRTT is the most effective tanker based on its unmatched fuel capacity that allows it to offload more fuel at any given distance than any competitor. More fuel on-board means more flexibility, more range and longer time on station. Its fast fuel flow rate, up to a maximum of 3,600 kg/min, makes this tanker is the most capable new-generation flight-proven boom available. With a large internal fuel capacity, it can refuel six fighters en-route.
The A330 MRTT has been ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force, French Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, and others.
A total of 12 nations have placed firm orders for approximately 60 aircraft, of which 33 have been delivered by the end of 2018. A version of the A330 MRTT, the KC-45, was proposed to the United States Air Force.
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