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  • ​RAAF to equip one A330 MRTT as VIP transport

​RAAF to equip one A330 MRTT as VIP transport

Australia has decided that one of its two incoming Airbus Defence and Space A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft will have an interior customised for transporting government officials.

The primary role of the aircraft will be as an air-to-air refuelling platform, but it will have features consistent with transporting high-level personnel on international flights, says Australia’s Department of Defence.

“The aircraft will provide the secure communications capability, range, passenger capacity to support long range travel required to enable international engagement with our partners in, for example, North America, Europe and north Asia,” says the Department.

“The modified aircraft will support long range government transport with accommodation, meeting facilities and communications to allow conduct of normal business in transit. The capability is scheduled to be delivered in 2019.”

An August 2016 contract with Airbus Defence and Space covers the necessary modifications.

The A330 MRTT is designated the KC-30A in Australian service, and the RAAF has five in-service examples powered by General Electric CF6 engines.

The aircraft's passenger cabins are similar to those found in Qantas’s commercial A330s, with both business and economy classes, but excluding inflight entertainment equipment.

Its two incoming tankers, which are being converted in Getafe, Spain, were formerly operated by the Oneworld carrier. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that they are of 2007 and 2008 vintage, and were previously owned by CIT Aerospace.

As airliners, the two jets bore the registrations VH-EBH (MSN 892) and VH-EBI (898).

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