Air-Force Airbus to upgrade communications and mission system on Australian KC-30A MRTT fleet


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Airbus announces it has been selected to develop a Communications and Mission System modernization upgrade for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A MRTT fleet. KC-30A MRTT is the Australian designation for Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

Airbus to upgrade communications and mission system on AustralianKC 30A MRTT fleet

U.S. F-35A refuled by an Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) of the Royal Australian Air Force (Picture source: Airbus)

The work will mainly cover a retrofit package that includes new and additional Communications Capabilities and Enhanced Mission Systems, bringing it up to the latest enhanced A330 MRTT standard.

Split across two contracts, Phase 1 will see Airbus carry out the design and systems development and integration ahead of the Critical Design Review maturity gate. Phase 2 will see Airbus install and deliver a prototype KC-30 aircraft for use in the certification and qualification process, ahead of finalizing and supplying the modification kits for entire fleet. Subsequent retrofit to the remainder of the fleet will be under customer responsibility.

In addition, Airbus will provide the necessary data packs and support to ensure this upgrade features in the existing RAAF A330 MRTT Full Flight Simulator (FFS), the Integrated Procedures Trainer (IPT) and the Remote Air Refuelling Operator (RARO) Console Part Task trainer (PTT).

The KC-30A MRTT is fitted with two types of air-to-air refueling systems: an Advanced Refuelling Boom System mounted on the tail of the aircraft; and a pair of all-electric refueling hose-and-drogue pods under each wing. These systems are controlled by an Air Refuelling Operator in the cockpit, who can view refueling on 2D and 3D screens. The KC-30A can carry a fuel load of 111 tonnes and transfer part of that load to compatible aircraft, including other KC-30As.

In total, the A330 MRTT counts 61 orders and 45 aircraft already delivered and in operation.


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