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France receives final Phénix aircraft

The 12th and final Phénix MRTT aircraft for France was delivered on 21 September. (Airbus)

France has received its 12th and final Airbus Defence and Space (DS) A330-200 Phénix Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, the manufacturer announced on 21 September.

The arrival of the tanker-transport aircraft into Airbase 125 at Istres-Le Tubé concludes the French Air and Space Force's (Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace: AAE's) procurement programme that was launched in November 2014.

In AAE service, the Phénix replaced the Boeing KC-135R/C-135FR tanker and Airbus A340/A310 passenger transport aircraft.

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 Morphée intensive care module carrying up to 10 patients and 88 passengers. A cargo door in the upper deck will facilitate the loading of stretchered patients, as well as enabling the aircraft to be better used as a freighter.

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