Saudi Arabia doubles order for A330-based tankers

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Saudi Arabia has doubled its order for Airbus A330-based multi-role tanker transports from three to six aircraft. The type is on track for delivery to the nation's air force from 2011.

Airbus Military announced the receipt of its follow-on contract on 27 July, and confirms that Riyadh's new aircraft will be configured with its air refuelling boom system and Cobham 905E hose and drogue pods. The former has already been integrated with the A330 for the Royal Australian Air Force's future fleet of A330-based KC-30 multi-role tanker transports.

 
© Airbus Military
Saudi Arabia's A330-based tankers will support types including the Eurofighter Typhoon and Panavia Tornado

Airbus Military has not confirmed where Saudi Arabia's additional aircraft will be modified for the tanker role, but Riyadh-headquartered Alsalam Aircraft has previously been selected to prepare two of its air force's initial three A330s, which were ordered last year.

EADS has now received orders for 28 A330-based tankers, with this total also including five for Australia, three for the United Arab Emirates and 14 for the UK.