The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) aircraft.
The new-generation A330 MRTT extends the endurance and range of the ROKAF’s fighter aircraft, and provides the service with strategic transport capability for passengers and freight.
In South Korean service, the A330 MRTT will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, be equipped with the Airbus Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), and can be configured in a variety of layouts to carry passengers and freight or for MEDEVAC purposes.
South Korea becomes the seventh member of the worldwide family of A330 MRTT operators and is one of 12 nations to have ordered the aircraft. This latest delivery brings the total in-service fleet to 35.
Fernando Alonso, Executive Vice President, Airbus, said: “The A330 MRTT has clearly established itself as the world’s premier tanker and strategic transport aircraft, and has been widely praised by the current operators. It will be a critical asset of the ROKAF and leading air forces worldwide for many decades.”
The A330 MRTT aircraft was selected by South Korea in June 2015 beating Boeing KC-46 Pegasus and Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Boeing 767 MMTT (Multi Mission Tanker Transport). Seoul’s $1.26 billion KC-X programme aims to deliver four tankers by 2019.
Airbus A330 MRTT
Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is an aerial refueling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330-200 airliner.
The A330 MRTT has a maximum fuel capacity of 111,000 kg (245,000 lb) without the use of additional fuel tanks, which leaves space for the carriage of 45,000 kg (99,000 lb) of additional cargo. The A330 MRTT’s wing has common structure with the four-engine A340-200/-300 with reinforced mounting locations and provision for fuel piping for the A340’s outboard engines.
The A330 MRTT cabin can be modified to carry up to 380 passengers in a single class configuration, allowing a complete range of configurations from maximized troop transport to complex customization suitable for VIP and guest missions. The A330 MRTT can also be configured to perform Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions; up to 130 standard stretchers can be carried.
The main deck cargo configuration allows carriage of standard commercial containers and pallets, military, ISO and NATO pallets (including seats) and containers, and military equipment and other large items which are loaded through a cargo door.
According to Airbus, 12 nations have now ordered the tanker and a total of 60 A330 MRTT aircraft are on order with 35 delivered.