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Fri, Nov 17, 2023

Airbus Automates Air to Air Refueling with A330

No Boom Operator Needed in A3R MRTT System

Airbus has completed a test campaign assessing its automatic air-to-air refueling (A3R) system using the A330 tanker and a bevy of Singaporean aircraft.

The company said the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) proved viable in their testing, which used aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). The A3R system is hoped to see certification in the "first half of 2024" according to the manufacturer. 

The testing took place throughout August, with an RSAF tanker making more than "500 automated wet and dry contacts with the air force’s full fleet of receiver aircraft". Company press was eager to highlight the tanker pairing with the F-15SG aircraft, a Singapore's domestic variant of the F-15E Strike Eagle. The flight tests were conducted in Singapore, with testing covering the "whole operational refueling envelope", with a range of weather conditions.

“The A330 MRTT has made the future of air-to-air refueling a reality as a result of the joint efforts of Airbus and the Republic of Singapore Air Force,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space. “This new milestone will enable the RSAF to become the first Air Force in the world to have a boom automatic refueling capability with all of its receivers, a capability that can be extended to refueling receivers from other nations”.



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