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Airbus to provide SmartForce-based digital service to support ARBS on RAAF's KC-30A MRTT fleet

Airbus has secured a contract to provide a digital service to better support the Air Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) on the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, which are known as KC-30A MRTTs in RAAF service.

Based on the Airbus SmartForce suite of digital services, this service is “intended to support the operator in reducing maintenance costs and improving fleet availability by optimising the fault diagnosis and troubleshooting tasks for the ARBS of the tanker aircraft, based on data analytics applications”, said the company in a 28 January statement.

Airbus noted that the Central Data System plays a key role, enabling operators to draw on the flight data recorded by the mission recording system and providing information outputs about issues registered during the flight and recommended maintenance actions to fix them.

The Central Data System is a joint development built on a collaboration between Airbus, the Commonwealth of Australia, and Australian KC-30A Through-Life Support (TLS) provider Northrop Grumman Australia, in sharing data and defining the architecture of the system.

Future proposed development of the capability will enable customers who apply this technology to their fleet to be able to extend the ARBS analytics to entire aircraft-level diagnostics, said Airbus.

Jake Adams, Northrop Grumman Australia KC-30A Program Manager, was quoted as saying that the introduction of the Central Data System has provided “significant benefits in terms of increased availability of the ARBS”.

“The recent agreement between Airbus and Northrop Grumman Australia ensures that the RAAF continues to benefit from this capability, as well as providing the opportunity for ongoing collaboration and sharing of data and analytics to enhance the ARBS capability,” he added.

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