The fifth A330 based Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for NATO’s Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU) has been available for operations at its main operating base in Eindhoven since 31 August, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has announced. The previous day, this aircraft was handed over by Airbus to the NSPA, which manages the fleet for the MMF nations, via the European armaments agency OCCAR.
Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and the Czech Republic are financing the procurement of nine designated transport aircraft, which will be based with the MMU at Eindhoven and Cologne. Delivery of the A330 MRTTs began in June 2020. After training of personnel, operational flight operations began in May 2021 with the transport of a Luxembourg contingent to the EU support mission in Mali. This was followed by a mission on behalf of the Czech Republic and participation in the evacuation of military personnel and civilians from Afghanistan.
The NSPA also announced that the MMF’s sixth and seventh aircraft are currently in various stages of their MRTT conversion at the Airbus facilities in Getafe, Madrid, and will be delivered to the MMU in February and July 2022.