Airbus Military has been granted a civil supplemental type certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.
This certification covers the comprehensive military specific modifications made to the A330 aircraft, and is the first civil certification ever extended by EASA to a tanker transport aircraft developed in Europe. Key modifications to the airframe include the Airbus developed Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), wingtip refuelling pods, and the refuelling operator’s console installed in the cockpit.
Airbus Military says over 60 flight tests were undertaken for the STC process, out of more than 170 flight tests flown to date.
“Receiving this supplemental type certificate gives us great satisfaction. After many years of hard work, it confirms the readiness and quality of our product which complies with the stringent civil certification requirements,” Airbus Military senior VP Miguel Morell said in a statement. “The next step is receiving the Military Certification prior to delivery of the aircraft to the first operator, in this instance the RAAF.”
The RAAF is scheduled to receive its first two KC-30A MRTTs later this year, although industry rumours persist that this may be further delayed due to ongoing developmental issues with the ARBS boom.