Airbus A330-200MRTT Tanker

Airbus A330-243MRTT MRTT029 RAF Airbus

One of the greatest attributes of the Airbus A330 as a tanker aircraft is its massive internal fuel capacity, the 111.000 kg / 122 tons of fuel is held in the wings which leaves the lower deck available for cargo. With under floor tanks the fuel capacity can be further increased while retaining main deck cargo capacity or seating for strategic transport. The A330-200MRTT can be fitted with a variety of refueling options, from a new air refueling boom system developed by EADS or two wing pods, to a combination of wing pods and a center fuselage refueling unit (hose and drogue) and/or boom system.

-The fly-by-wire technology boom is 11,28 m. long, and it extends to a length of 17,68 m. for refueling, transfer rate of 4.542 liter/min at a pressure of 50 psi. Boom operations are managed from a station in the cockpit. The operator’s position is optimized for man-machine interface and utilizes a 3-D stereoscopic enhanced vision system for day/night boom operation.

-The under fuselage centerline hose & drogue unit delivers fuel though an 25,91 m.-long hose, with an off-load rate 2.271 liter/min at a pressure of 50 psi.

-Two under wing pods have a transfer rate of 1.590 liter/min at a pressure of 50 psi., and their hoses extend to a distance of 27,43 m.


The RAAF’s five aircraft will be equipped with both an Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and two Cobham 905E under-wing refuelling pods. Australia was initially to procure four aircraft with an option to obtain a fifth, however it has since decided to go ahead with the procurement of the fifth aircraft in order to allow for two simultaneous deployments of two aircraft, with the fifth providing contingency cover. All of Australia’s Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft will be operated by No. 33 Squadron RAAF based at RAAF Base Amberley.

Following a 12–15 month delay, the first two Australian aircraft are now due to be delivered in mid-2010, with a third by the end of the year and the remaining two in 2011 and 2012 respectively. The Australian aircraft are designated KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transports.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia finalized an agreement to purchase three A330 MRTT equipped with both an Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and two Cobham 905E under-wing refuelling pods, on 3 January 2008. In July 2009 it was released that Saudi Arabia ordered three additional A330 MRTT tankers.

United Arab Emirates

In 2007, the United Arab Emirates announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to purchase three A330 MRTT. EADS, Airbus’s parent company, announced the signing of a contract with UAE in February 2008. The UAE aircraft will be equipped with both an Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and two Cobham 905E under-wing refuelling pods.

United Kingdom

On 27 March 2008, the UK Ministry of Defense signed a deal to lease 14 aircraft from EADS-led consortium AirTanker, with the first aircraft due to enter service in 2011. All of the RAF aircraft will be fitted with two Cobham 905E under-wing refuelling pods and 7 will be capable of being fitted with one Cobham 805E Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU).

A330-200 MRTT facts:

  • Developing nation: Europe
  • Manufacturer / designer: EADS – Airbus Industries
  • Production line: Toulouse – Blagnac, France
  • Type Aircraft: A33-200 MRTT Aerial tanker and transport
  • First flight(s): A330-200 MRTT – June 15 2007
  • First delivery: A330-200 MRTT – year 2010 (Royal Australian Air Force)
  • Crew: Two pilots, two boom-operators
  • Aero medical evacuation: 130 stretchers or 70 stretchers and 6 intensive care units.
  • Cabin length: 45,00 m.
  • Cabin diameter: 5,28 m.
  • Cabin height: 2,54 m.
  • Cargo volume: Under floor 136 m³
  • LD3 containers in belly: 26x
  • Standard pallets (2,24 x 3,17 m.): In belly 8x including 2 LD3 containers.
  • NATO pallets (2,24 x 2,75 m.): 34x
  • Wing span: 60,30 m. with winglets
  • Wing area: 361,60 m²
  • Wing sweep: 30 degrees
  • Fuselage length: 59,00 m.
  • Fuselage diameter: 5,64 m.
  • Height: 17,40 m.
  • Wheelbase: 22,20 m.
  • Track: 10,69 m.
  • Engines: 2x General Electric CF6-80E1A4 rated 297.44 kN.  /  or: 2x Rolls Royce Trent 772B rated 315.9 kN
  • Weight empty: 120.520 kg.
  • Fuel: 139.090 liters
  • Max. Payload: 48.988 kg.
  • Max. take off weight: 239.950 kg.
  • Max. landing weight: 181.982 kg.
  • Cruise speed: 860 Kph.
  • Max. speed: 880 Kph.
  • Service ceiling: 12.497 m.
  • Max. ceiling: 12.497 m.
  • Max. range: 13.057 Km.
  • Centerline flying boom: 11,28 m. long, extends to a length of 17,68 m, rated 4.542 liter/min. at a pressure of 50 psi.
  • Centerline hose drum unit: 25,91 m. long, rated 2.271 liter/min. at a pressure of 50 psi.
  • Under wing pods (x2): 27,43 m. long, rated 1.590 liter/min. at a pressure of 50 psi.
  • Wing tank: 91.298 liters.
  • Center tank: 41.559 liters.
  • Trim tank: 6.230 liters.

Military Systems

The A330 MRTT also features a suite of advanced military avionics and mission systems integrated with the civil avionics, and can also be provided with a comprehensive survivability package including a Defensive Aid System, fuel tank inerting and cockpit armouring.