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Spain signs for three MRTT aircraft

An A330 MRTT mocked-up in Spanish markings. Spain is to receive three aircraft from 2023 to 2025. (Airbus)

The Spanish government has signed for three Airbus Defence and Space (DS) A330-200 MultiRole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

Announced by the manufacturer on 12 November, the deal will see the former Iberia A330 aircraft converted to the military MRTT standard (including a medical evacuation kit) at Airbus' Getafe facility on the outskirts of Madrid.

Deliveries to the Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) running from 2023 through to 2025. Once in service, the aircraft will be operated by 45 Wing, based in Torrejón Air Base in Madrid.

News of the contract came some five months after the Council of Ministers announced on 29 June that the three aircraft would be acquired for EUR675 million (USD803 million at the time) spread over five annuities from 2021 to 2025.

The MRTT can carry 111 tonnes of fuel over a greater distance (14,800 km) than all its competitors, and can do all of this without losing any of its seating or underfloor cargo space to auxiliary fuel tanks, which means it can carry 291 passengers and 45 tonnes of cargo as well as being a tanker.

As the clear market leader for international tanker transport sales, the A330 MRTT has been sold to Australia, France, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United Kingdom, as well as the Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) members Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway.

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