SOURCE: EADS North America

January 03, 2008 11:09 ET

EADS Selected by Saudi Arabia to Provide Tanker/Transport Aircraft

New A330 MRTT Order Is Another Competitive Success for the Aircraft That Also Is Offered for the U.S. Air Force's Tanker Fleet Recapitalization

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - January 3, 2008) - The Royal Saudi Air Force will acquire EADS' A330 Multi-role Tanker/Transport (MRTT), further consolidating this aircraft's position as the most operationally flexible global aerial refueling platform and airlifter of choice for military forces' demanding operational requirements.

Saudi Arabia's A330 MRTTs will have total mission flexibility, equipped with EADS' centerline-mounted advanced Air Refueling Boom System (ARBS) and a pair of underwing hose and drogue refueling pods. The configuration is similar to that specified for the Royal Australian Air Force's refueling aircraft, as well as proposed for the Northrop Grumman KC-30 Tanker offered in the U.S. Air Force KC-135 replacement competition.

The Saudi decision marks the A330 MRTT's fourth consecutive international win, and follows previous A330 MRTT selections by U.S. allies Australia, Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Saudi Arabia's competitive choice is another validation of the A330 MRTT's superior capabilities as a tanker and a true force multiplier," said John Young, CEO of EADS North America Tankers. "It demonstrates the competitive strengths of this very capable tanker/transport platform, which is being offered as the KC-30 Tanker by our team leader, Northrop Grumman, for the U.S. Air Force's tanker fleet recapitalization."

The twin-engine A330 MRTT/KC-30 advanced Tanker provides exceptional capability for in-flight refueling, plus full flexibility in cargo delivery, passenger transport, aeromedical evacuation and other missions. Its flexibility and capacity for multi role missions exceeds other refueling platforms offered on the market today, as recognized by the Saudi selection of the A330 MRTT over its competitor, the KC-767.

The A330 MRTT production is well underway, with the Royal Australian Air Force's no. 1 aircraft being readied for delivery. Its mission equipment includes the fly-by-wire Air Refueling Boom System, the pair of underwing refueling pods, and an electronic warfare self-protection suite to counter surface-to-air missiles.

EADS' ARBS has undergone a rigorous flight test program, including its first airborne contacts with an F-16 fighter. This all-electric fly-by-wire system provides highly accurate, reliable in-flight refueling and is the result of a three year, $100 million EADS self-funded research and development effort.

In addition to the A330 MRTT successes in Australia, the UK, UAE and Saudi Arabia, EADS has delivered tankers based on the A310 aircraft to the Air Forces of Canada and Germany.

Saudi Arabia's A330 MRTT order adds to the growing military and civil bookings for the A330 series of twin-engine aircraft. To date, more than 900 sales have been logged for A330s, including the military tanker/transports, the new A330-200F Freighter, and civilian airliners for domestic and international carriers. The A330 family's production rate is being further accelerated to meet this growing order volume -- with a total backlog of some 400 aircraft guaranteeing long-term manufacturing and support for this popular and technologically advanced aircraft.

About EADS North America (

EADS North America is the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $10 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 190,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. With 12 operating companies located in 31 cities and 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

Contact Information

    Guy Hicks
    Vice President Communications and Public Relations
    EADS North America
    Tel: 703-236-3300
    E-mail: Email Contact