Canada’s future fleet of Airbus Defence & Space A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTTs) will be equipped with self-protection equipment from Elbit Systems.

Announced by the Israeli company on 28 November, the selection will lead to the widebodies being fitted with its direct infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) and infrared missile warning systems.

“Our DIRCM self-protection suite will bolster the security and operational advantage of the platforms and crew,” says Oren Sabag, general manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR and EW.

Canada A330 MRTT

Source: Airbus Defence & Space

Royal Canadian Air Force will eventually field nine A330 MRTT airframes

“The decision by Airbus Defence & Space to continue equipping the A330 MRTT with our advanced defence solutions validates the quality and market-leading technology of our solutions,” he adds.

Elbit says its contract “will be performed over a period of five years”.

Ottawa earlier this year confirmed a plan to field nine A330s as replacements for its aged A310 tanker/transport fleet. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will receive four new MRTTs, along with five examples to be adapted from ex-airline-operated A330-200s.

A first secondhand example is already in RCAF use for air transport duties, with the service registration 330002. Cirium fleets data shows that the twin-aisle was originally delivered to Kuwait Airways in 2015, registered as 9K-APC and in a 212-seat configuration.