Airbus Defence and Space has ordered a full flight simulator (FFS) from Indra to support the training of A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) crews, stating that the aircraft’s success is driving a training requirement.
The contract covers the installation at the Airbus Defence and Space International Training Centre in Seville, Spain of a Level D full flight simulator that is certified to qualify pilots on the MRTT with zero flight time in the actual aircraft.
In addition to providing flight training, the simulator, which is due to enter service in the second quarter of 2018, will permit the training of pilots in hose-and-drogue refuelling operations, and to act as a receiver from other tankers, Airbus said in a statement.
“This investment will improve the quality of the training that we offer, reduce its cost, and enable us to offer a more comprehensive support product,” said Stephan Miegel, head of Military Aircraft Services.
“It offers the opportunity of greatly reducing the amount of aircraft flight hours required to train air-to-air refuelling crews.
“We are also examining the most cost-effective way to link the FFS to a part task trainer that would allow training of complete crews on [air-to-air refuelling] using the refuelling boom system, in addition to hose-and-drogue.”
The company stated that it decided to invest in the new capability in order to ensure that a robust training capability was available to meet the needs of the growing fleet of MRTTs, with 27 aircraft already delivered to four countries out of 49 on firm order.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A MRTT fleet could expand to nine aircraft to meet increasing demand, as the Integrated Investment Program noted.
Australia was understood to have expressed interest in automatic refuelling and datalink relay technology that Airbus is developing for the MRTT.