Airbus Defence & Space has delivered its eighth A330-200-based multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) to a multinational unit based at Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Transferred from the airframer’s Getafe modification site near Madrid, Spain on 19 June, aircraft T-061 is assigned to the NATO Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU), formed by participants Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway.

NATO A330 MRTT T-061

Source: Joris van Boven

Aircraft T-061 was welcomed to Eindhoven air base on 19 June

Acquired under a pooling and sharing model and introduced from June 2020, the assets are used for in-flight refuelling and airlift tasks, and can also perform medical evacuation duties.

The MMU has another two A330 MRTTs on order, with the 10-aircraft fleet scheduled to be complete before the end of 2026.

Operations – which also include the use of a forward operating base in Cologne, Germany – are coordinated by the Eindhoven-based European Air Transport Command.

Separately, pooled operations conducted by a group of 12 NATO nations using a trio of Boeing C-17 strategic transports based at Papa air base in Hungary are to be enhanced thanks to a new logistics building.

Opened on 19 June, the 3,200sq m (34,400sq ft) Combined Aerial Port Facility “will enhance our capability to conduct large-scale cargo management in a very controlled environment”, says Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) commander US Air Force Colonel Jason Mills.

Replacing a temporary cargo hub, the new €10 million ($10.7 million) facility will be “dedicated to storing, repacking and reloading cargo from vehicles like trucks or trains to aircraft”, the HAW says.

HAW C-17

Source: US Air Force

The Heavy Airlift Wing operates three C-17 strategic transports

2024 marks the 15th anniversary of the planned 30-year Strategic Airlift Capability initiative between partners Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the USA.

A new simulator building in also under construction at the site, with this to open its doors in mid-2025.

Additional reporting by Joris van Boven and Alex van Noije in Eindhoven