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The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has ordered the 10th A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for the Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) from Airbus Defence and Space for delivery in late 2026.

During the initial operational capability (IOC) ceremony of the MMF at Eindhoven on 23 March 2023, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the six participating MMF nations (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Norway) for the procurement of the 10th A300 MRTT was signed. Previously, Belgium had announced its additional requirement of 1,100 flight hours per year. Based on the MoU, the NSPA concluded the procurement contract with Airbus on 28 March. The NSPA assumed overall responsibility for the MMF’s aircraft at the end of 2022, including procurement previously carried out by Europe’s Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation.

The seventh A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) during its ferry flight to the Multinational MRTT Fleet. (Photo: Airbus)

Three more aircraft are still on the options list. A prerequisite for the procurement is an increase in the hourly quota either by one of the participating nations or by additional nations joining the MMF.

“Since the delivery of the first aircraft in 2020, and especially since the start of the war in Ukraine, the MMF has been protecting European sovereignty and demonstrating its capabilities as a multi-role tanker [capability],” said Jean Brice Dumont, head of the Military Air Systems Division at Airbus Defence and Space.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has described the MMF as an excellent example of NATO and the EU working together to provide vital capabilities for their member states.

Gerhard Heiming