SOURCE: EADS North America

EADS North America

October 18, 2010 14:22 ET

EADS North America KC-45 Tanker Program Benefits From the First Flight of Third Australian A330 MRTT

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - October 18, 2010) -  The maturity of the EADS North America KC-45 program has been further reinforced with the maiden flight of Australia's third mission-equipped Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). EADS North America is offering an A330 MRTT-based tanker to the U.S. Air Force as the KC-45, and is the only competitor offering the Air Force a tanker that is already flying, refueling and fully certified today. 

Airbus Military will begin deliveries of A330 MRTTs this year to its first operator, the Royal Australian Air Force. 

The first two A330 MRTTs built for Australia have performed more than 1,300 aerial refueling contacts and transferred more than one million pounds of fuel, using the same advanced Aerial Refueling Boom System (ARBS) and digital under-wing refueling pods offered on the KC-45. The Australian aircraft also is configured with a Link 16 real-time data link for airborne connectivity, along with a directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system, among other defensive systems.

The third Australian A330 MRTT was converted to its tanker/transport configuration by Qantas Engineering in Brisbane, Australia -- underscoring the company's ability to successfully transfer A330 MRTT production and outfitting around the world. The KC-45 variant of the A330 MRTT will be built at a new American aerospace center of excellence that will be constructed in Mobile, Alabama.

"Every day, the A330 MRTT program is demonstrating that our KC-45 offers the U.S. Air Force a tanker solution that is in production, flying today and proven," said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "We are ready to bring the only real tanker in the Air Force competition to the U.S., where it will be built by 48,000 Americans."

During the four-hour maiden flight for the newest Australian A330 MRTT, the aircraft reached an altitude of 41,000 feet and performed a series of preplanned trials of test equipment, handling qualities, performance and systems in a full range of mission situations. This is the fifth A330 MRTT currently flying, including two aircraft for the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force.

The A330 MRTT is in production today for four U.S. allies. Australia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have ordered a total of 28 MRTTs. It has won every head-to-head competition with Boeing's KC-767 tanker -- including the U.S. Air Force competition in 2008.

To learn more about the KC-45, visit

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.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Guy Hicks
    Vice President, Corporate Communications
    EADS North America
    Tel: 703-236-3346
    E-mail: Email Contact