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RAAF’s first new tanker arrives

The first Airbus A330 has arrived in Australia to be converted to a Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for the RAAF, the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement Greg Combet has announced.

The aircraft, the first of four Airbus A330s to be modified in Australia, has arrived at the Qantas Australian conversion centre at Brisbane Airport after departing the Airbus facility in France.

It will be modified to a KC-30B MRTT under Project AIR 5402, during which five new-generation KC-303 MRTTs are to be supplied.

Mr Combet said: “Project AIR 5402 will replace the RAAF’s Boeing 707 and enhance the air-to-air refuelling capability of the Australian Defence Force.

“The KC-30B has a significant strategic airlift capacity, carrying a fuel load of up to 111 tonnes, along with 270 passengers, and a combination of commercial and military cargo pallets in an under-floor cargo compartment.”

During the conversion process there will be modification of approximately 2,000 structural parts and 5,500 system parts with up to 22,000 components delivered to the conversion centre. 

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