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Indonesia selects A330 MRTT for acquisition

Indonesia's selection of the Airbus A330 MRTT for acquisition appears to have been partly prompted by the aircraft's ability to transfer fuel via both a fuselage-mounted boom and/or a hose-and-drogue transfer systems. (Airbus)

The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has selected the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for acquisition.

In an announcement on 5 September, the MoD said that the plan to acquire Airbus A330 MRTTs had entered the “effective contract” phase. The announcement was made following a meeting between Indonesian Deputy Minister of Defense M Herindra and Airbus in Jakarta that day.

According to the MoD statement, other Airbus defence products “under effective contract with the government of Indonesia” include the Anti-Submarine Helicopter (AKS), the H225 transport helicopter, and the A400M transport aircraft.

“All of these defence equipment modes are accompanied by supporting instruments and spare parts,” the MoD said.

However, the contract for the A330 MRTT appears to require finalisation. “We are pleased that Indonesia has announced its intention to acquire the A330 MRTT, in addition to other assets already in order with Airbus, and we look forward to finalising the details,” an Airbus spokesperson told Janes.

The MoD's announcement about the selection of the A330 MRTT comes four years after Indonesia launched a study to consider various tanker platforms for acquisition. Janes reported in 2021 that Jakarta was considering the Boeing KC-46A, the Ilyushin Il-78, and the A330 MRTT. Selection of the aircraft was dependent on funding options and potential transfer-of-technology arrangements.

The study indicated a requirement for the selected tanker to support both hose-and-drogue and flying boom aerial refuelling methods. This was to ensure compatibility with the Indonesian Air Force's (Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU's) diverse air assets.

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