A fourth Airbus A330-243 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) has joined the NATO Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF).
On March 31, ownership of the aircraft – serial T-057 (c/n 1945, ex F-WWKU) – was transferred (through the Organization for Joint Armament Co-operation) from Airbus Defence and Space to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), which manages the fleet on behalf of the MMF nations. It departed from Getafe, Spain, on April 1 using callsign ‘MMF70’ on a 2-hour delivery flight to the MMF’s Main Operating Base at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands.
The first, second and third aircraft had been delivered, respectively, on June 30, August 10 and November 19, 2020. The fleet of the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Unit (MMU) will eventually total nine aircraft. The MMU is now operating MMF1 and MMF2 for training purposes and will gradually deploy on operational tasks in the next months.
In the meantime, the conversion of MMF3 into aeromedical evacuation (MEDEVAC) configuration has been completed in Cologne, Germany. The aircraft now includes a MEDEVAC kit that consists of 16 medicalized stretchers and up to six intensive care units (ICUs). Efforts are now directed into training and certification to ensure a MEDEVAC capability is available to the MMF nations by early summer.
Meanwhile, the fifth, sixth and seventh MMF aircraft are currently in different stages of their MRTT conversion at Airbus facilities in Getafe and will be delivered to the MMU in the fourth quarter of the year of 2021 and in 2022. The full fleet will be able to provide strategic transport, air-to-air refuelling and medical evacuation capabilities to its six participating nations – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Norway.
The aircraft are owned by NATO and managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) with the support of the Organization for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) on the acquisition phase until the end of 2022. The MMU operates the fleet.