The first of 12 Airbus A330 Voyagers due be converted in the UK under the Ministry of Defence's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft programme touched down at Bournemouth airport in Dorset on 26 August.
Cobham Aviation Services is due to start work on the aircraft in a newly refurbished hangar to be opened formally on 2 September. Key activities will include installing Cobham 905E under-wing hose and drogue refuelling pods with all 12 aircraft and fuselage drum units on six three-point tankers.
The UK's first two Voyager aircraft were modified at Airbus Military's Getafe site near Madrid, Spain. Pre-delivery work on the first example will be completed in time for its planned delivery at the Royal Air Force's Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire on 31 October.
To be introduced under a private finance initiative deal with AirTanker, the Voyager fleet will replace the RAF's Lockheed TriStar and Vickers VC10 tanker/transports. All 14 modified A330s should be in operational use by mid-2016.