Following almost six months of preparations, the OCCAR-EA Director, Matteo Bisceglia, and the AIRBUS Defence & Space representatives, Didier Plantecoste and Hervé Daumas, signed the MMF Contract-Amendment No. 8 in Getafe, Spain on 20 January 2020.
“The joining of the Czech Republic shows again the success of the MMF programme that now counts with six participating states, thanks to all involved stakeholders, EDA, NSPA, industry and of course, OCCAR” the OCCAR Director said.
Within the Air-to-Air Refuelling Initiative of the European Defence Agency (EDA) several Nations have agreed to co-operate in a multinational Programme: The Multinational MultiRole Tanker Transport Aircraft Fleet which will provide additional tanker and transport aircraft capability in Europe.
The MMF Programme will provide air-to-air refuelling, transport of passengers and cargo and medical evacuations (based on the Airbus A330-200).
The Multinational MultiRole Tanker Transport Aircraft Fleet (MMF) initiative was launched by the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 2016 and aims to boost the ability of European Allies to refuel aircraft in mid-air. The initiative is supported by NATO and the European Union. With the joining of the Czech Republic last year, the MMF program has six participants, the others being Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway.
The contract with Airbus Defence and Space was signed in July 2016 and the Programme Division was set up on 1st September 2016 in Bonn. The MMF contract covered the acquisition of 8 aircraft and options for up to 3 additional aircraft, potentially increasing the total number to 11 aircraft.
The MMF aircraft are Airbus A330-200 series wide-body twin-engine jet airliners converted to the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) configuration.
The first aircraft will be utilised for both ground and aircrew training of the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU) personnel, and then delivered by the OCCAR MMF Programme Division to the MMU based in Eindhoven on 2nd May 2020. The second aircraft is expected to be delivered in June 2020.
The aircraft are to be owned by NATO and procured by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) through the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement, OCCAR). Following the acquisition phase, NSPA will be responsible for the complete life-cycle management of the fleet.