NATO: multinational MRTT fleet expands with delivery of 8th aircraft

Story by MMU Public Affairs Office

The Multinational Multirole Tanker Unit (MMU) welcomed its eighth A330 aircraft at Eindhoven Airport adding to its capability to support resilience and flexibility to Allied air operations.

 

On June 19, 2024, at 16:00 local time, a new A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft landed at Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands. Bearing the tail number T-061, the aircraft is the eighth in the MMU fleet. A total of ten of these advanced tanker aircraft are planned to be acquired by 2026. Experienced MMU pilots safely flew the new A330 from the Airbus facility in Getafe, Spain and to it new Main Operating Base at Eindhoven.

The A330 MRTT is a highly versatile aircraft, capable of both air-to-air refueling and transporting cargo and personnel. In the coming days, MMU’s in-house technicians will fit refueling pods to the newest member of the MMU fleet. These pods are part of the hose and drogue system enabling the A330 to refuel other aircraft during flight extending range and resilience during NATO air operations. The arrival of T-061 further enhances the MMU’s operational capability and flexibility, providing significant advantages to the participating nations.

The continuous expansion of the A330 MRTT fleet underscores the commitment of the involved partner nations to a shared and efficient aerial refueling and airlift capacity within Europe.

 

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The Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) provides strategic transport, air-to-air refueling and medical evacuation capabilities to its six participating nations: Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Norway.

The MMF stands out as a unique example of effective cooperation between NATO and the European Union in delivering critical capabilities. The programme is based on a pooling and sharing concept, laid down in a Memorandum of Understanding in which the participating nations pool the aircraft and share costs while benefiting from economies of scale. The fleet is owned by NATO and managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA); its MMF team is based at the NSPA headquarters in Capellen, Luxembourg, and staff at Eindhoven, Cologne-Wahn, Bonn and Getafe provide additional support.

 

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