The first Airbus Military A330 MRTT for the United Arab Emirates Air Force completed its inaugural flight on April 9, following tanker conversion in Madrid, Spain.
The aircraft will now enter the certification and qualification phase, after the crew gave the A330 MRTT’s systems and Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines the all clear after the 2 hour, 55 minute test flight. Airbus Military says the first UAE A330 is due to transfer to Abu Dhabi by year’s end for the final phase of flight-testing, with delivery planned for the second quarter of 2012.
Six A330 MRTTs had already flown prior to the recent April 9 flight, including three for the RAAF, two for the RAF and one for the RSAF.
Airbus Military notes that two of the RAAF’s A330 MRTTs (KC-30s) are “already technically complete and ready for delivery”, pending finalisation of contractual talks.