The United Arab Emirates has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT), flown in from Airbus Military's Getafe site near Madrid.
Equipped with an aerial refuelling boom system and under-wing hose and drogue refuelling pods, the MRTT will be used to support combat types including the Lockheed Martin F-16E and Dassault Mirage 2000. It represents the UAE's first tanker capability.
Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the aircraft is also configured to transport up to 256 passengers, in a two-class configuration.
"The remaining two aircraft are at an advanced stage of conversion and will be delivered by mid-2013," Airbus Military says. The company performed the debut flight of a modified A330 for the UAE in April 2011, and had at that time expected to hand over its first example by mid-2012.
The UAE's new tanker fleet will support types including the Mirage 2000
Versions of the A330 MRTT have now been delivered to Australia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK, which have ordered a combined 28 examples. India has also recently selected the type for a six-aircraft requirement, but has yet to sign a contract.