Successes Support Northrop Grumman's KC-30 Program
Representatives with European aerospace group EADS told
Aero-News Thursday that the first A330 aircraft for the Royal
Australian Air Force's Multi-role Tanker Transport (MRTT) program
has rolled off the production line and completed initial
evaluations, and the advanced fly-by-wire refueling boom that will
equip it has recently concluded a preliminary series of in-flight
These two milestones are important steps in meeting both US and
international aerial tanker program requirements. EADS is competing
with Boeing's 767 tanker for the US contract.
EADS North America is a teammate and principal subcontractor on
the Northrop Grumman KC-30 Advanced Multi-role Tanker Transport
(AMTT) team that is seeking to support the US Air Force's KC-135
tanker fleet recapitalization. EADS also has been selected by the
Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force
to provide military refueling aircraft systems.
"Both program achievements reflect EADS' technical progress in
supporting the Northrop Grumman-led industrial team, which is
offering the most capable tanker to meet the US Air Force's aerial
refueling requirements of today and tomorrow," said EADS North
America Chairman & CEO Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "As with the A330
MRTT selected by two of America's closest allies, the KC-30
Advanced Multi-role Tanker Transport offers the best-value solution
to the US Air Force - combining superior performance in its aerial
refueling role with exceptional operational flexibility for cargo,
passengers and aeromedical evacuation missions."
The first A330 for the Royal Australian Air Force performed
validation tests this month. These tests included flying in a
receiver position behind a French Air Force C-135FR tanker.
With these successful
evaluations completed, the A330 will be painted in Royal Australian
Air Force livery in May, and then delivered to EADS' Military
Transport Aircraft Division for modification into the MRTT
configuration. The RAAF has ordered five A330 MRTTs, with the first
scheduled for delivery in 2008.
Separately, the EADS Boom System has successfully completed its
first phase of full-scale flight tests. These evaluations validated
the boom system in its stowed position on an A310 test bed
aircraft, clearing the way for follow-on flights that will include
refueling capability demonstrations.
An integrated 2-D and 3-D stereoscopic enhanced vision system is
incorporated in the boom system for day/night missions. The boom
system's advanced features will allow it to refuel all
suitably-equipped receiver aircraft, and the boom is easily
adaptable to future mission requirements - including the refueling
of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). An intelligent control system
enables automatic configuration for each type of receiver