Korean Air has completed its first depot maintenance work on an Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).

The work on the aircraft – designated KC-330 ‘Cygnus’ in Korean service – took place at the Korean Air Tech Centre in Busan, says the carrier.

A330 Depot Maintenance Korean

Source: Korean Air

Korean Air has a long history of defence MRO work

Korean Air secured a project to perform depot maintenance on the type in December 2023.

The work involves significant disassembly and inspection work of the aircraft’s fuselage, specific components, and wiring.

Overall, Korean Air estimates that around 600 inspections are carried out for the MRTT.

“By combining our Airbus A330 passenger aircraft maintenance technology with military aircraft depot maintenance experience, we have successfully completed the first shipment of the KC-330 aerial refueling tanker depot maintenance,” says Korean Air.

The ROKAF operates four A330 MRTTs.

Korean Air has been involved with military MRO for decades, providing depot maintenance for several fixed-wing and rotary-wing types.

South Korea plans to add to its military MRO capabilities. In April the Defense Acquisition Program Administration reportedly said that a heavy maintenance facility for the Lockheed Martin F-35 would be built in South Korea, the third such facility in the Asia-Pacific region after Australia and Japan.


The developmental Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 fighter recently conducted its first test firing of the Diehl Defence IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missile.

The May 2024 test saw the fighter use its active electronically scanned array radar to designate a target drone, which was then engaged by the missile, says Diehl.

Diehl adds that it has been working towards this test since 2017, and that it proves the “initial air-to-air capability of the fighter”.

The IRIS-T is also being integrated with the FA-50 light combat jet, which has proven to be a successful export product for KAI.

“With IRIS-T on board, both platforms, KF-21 and FA-50, will be ready for demanding missions,” Diehl says.