EADS North America KC-45 tanker program moves forward with completion of A330 MRTT military certification
Arlington, Virginia — In preparation for delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force, the Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) — which is being offered to the U.S. Air Force as the EADS North America KC-45 — has obtained government certification to operate as a military aerial refueling tanker.
As part of the certification process, one million pounds of fuel were transferred through more than 1,300 contacts with a wide range of combat aircraft, using both the advanced aerial refueling boom and hose-and-drogue systems offered on the KC-45.
The EADS North America KC-45 is the only modern tanker/transport in the U.S. tanker competition that is flying today, certified for military operations and meets U.S. Air Force refueling requirements. The KC-45 configuration is 95% common with the A330 MRTT, and will be built in the U.S. by 48,000 Americans.
The A330 MRTT is in production or flight test for four U.S. allies, with two aircraft due for delivery to its first customer, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), before the end of the year.
“Government certification of the A330 MRTT as a fully capable military tanker is important evidence that our tanker is real and ready now,” said Ralph Crosby, EADS North America Chairman. “We’re proud to offer America’s men and women in uniform a proven, more capable aircraft, not an untested concept aircraft.”
“Our tanker aircraft have won every head-to-head competition with Boeing KC-767 tankers — including the 2008 U.S. Air Force competition,” he added.
The KC-45’s advanced refueling systems have been demonstrated and qualified in a full range of operational conditions, with receivers such as F‑16 and F/A‑18 fighters, E‑3 AWACS, and other A330 MRTTs.
The KC-45’s all-electric, fly-by-wire Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS) delivers fuel at up to 1,200 gallons per minute — as recently demonstrated in flight — meeting a key requirement for the U.S. Air Force’s new tanker. Its all-digital hose-and-drogue refueling pods are the most modern in service today, and the only ones with demonstrated capabilities on the tanker platform offered to the Air Force.
The KC-45 is the only tanker in the Air Force competition that meets both these mandatory refueling requirements.
To learn more about the KC-45, visit www.kc-45now.com.
About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
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