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Gerhard Heiming

The first two aircraft converted for the multinational MRTT fleet are ready for delivery at the Airbus plant in Getafe. They are to be procured by the European procurement agency OCCAR and logistically supported in operation by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), with the latter responsible for the overall programme. A group of six NATO countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway and the Netherlands) has contracted OCCAR and the NSPA to provide eight Airbus A330 MRTTs for strategic transport (passengers and cargo), air-to-air refuelling and medical evacuation capabilities. Since July 2019, the Multinational MRTT Unit has been in Eindhoven, where the aircraft will operate from, in close proximity to the European Air Transport Command (EATC). In addition to this Main Operating Base (MOB), a Forward Operating Base (FOB) will be established in Cologne.

The first two aircraft – MMF01 and MMF02 – are scheduled for delivery in June 2020 with aircraft MMF03 and MMF04 currently being converted at Airbus Defence and Space‘s plant in Getafe, while MMF05 has just been transferred as a “Green Aircraft” from Toulouse to Getafe. Additionally, the first crews have already been trained and can take over the aircraft after refreshing their training. The aircraft are designed for 1,100 flight hours per year and the nations can use flying hours according to their share of the costs. According to the current distribution, 5,500 flight hours are planned for Germany, 2,000 for the Netherlands, 1,000 for Belgium, 200 for Luxembourg and each 100 for Norway and the Czech Republic.