France has ordered a further three Airbus Defence and Space (DS) A330-200 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, bringing its total procurement to 12.
The addition of the extra Phénix platforms, announced by Airbus on 13 December, fuflils the French Air Force’s (Armée de l’Air: AdlA) total requirement to replace its current Boeing KC-135R/C-135FR tankers and Airbus A340/A310 passenger transports.
The first Phénix was handed over to the AdlA at Airbase 125 at Istres-Le Tubé in September, with the remainder to be delivered by the end of 2023 under an accelerated timescale requested by France.
The Phénix is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and equipped with a combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods.
It is possible to configure the aircraft in a variety of layouts, carrying up to 271 passengers as well as medical evacuation arrangements including the French MORPHEE intensive care module carrying up to 10 patients and 88 passengers.
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