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800px-Royal Air Force Airbus A330MRTT Bidini

The Airbus A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) is a modified variant of the Airbus A330, designed for aerial refuelling and transport missions for the military.

Design and History[]

The MRTT was based on the A330-200 and it is able to carry up to 111 tons of fuel. While being a multirole aircraft, it is able to carry fuel and 300 soldiers or 380 passengers or instead of that it can transport a payload of up to 45 tons. An alternative to the A330MRTT is the A310MRTT, which is based on the smaller A310 airliner.

Because the A330 has the same wings as the four engine A340, it was relatively easy to modify it into a tanker aircraft. Everything that had to be done was replacing the two outer engines with two Cobham 905E underwing refuelling pods, for allowing it to refuel two aircraft at the same time.

The A330 MRTT is able to refuel a couple of aircraft, like the Eurofighter Typhoon, the F/A-18 and its variants, the Sukhoi Su-30 and other larger aircraft (like other tanker aircraft, the A400M for example), it can also refuel other A330MRTT.

First deliveries were made to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) of Great Britain, and it has been ordered by the United Arab Emirates Air Force, and Royal Saudi Air Force.