Airbus to enhance French A330 MRTT fleet for €1.2 billion | Airlines

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Airbus will develop the Standard 2 of the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Phénix tanker for the French Air and Space Force.

Airbus Defence and Space secured two contracts worth a total of €1.2 billion with France’s Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) and Direction de la Maintenance Aéronautique (DMAé) to improve the A330 MRTT’s connectivity and self-protection features and secure its in-service support for the next decade.

Integrating the A330 MRTT into the FCAS

The Standard 2 contract awarded by the DGA will equip the fleet with a MELISSA satellite communications antenna, providing access to the French military satellite constellation SYRACUSE IV, including in jammed environments and extreme weather conditions. It will also improve the aircraft’s self-protection capabilities.

“The A330 MRTT Phénix fleet will thus have a high-speed, sovereign and secure communications capacity, associated with increased means of transmission as part of the implementation of the air deterrent component,” the French procurement agency explained in a statement. “A true communication node between C2 resources (command and control) and the entire aeronautical bubble that surrounds it, the A330 MRTT Phénix will occupy a central place in the aeronautical connectivity system.”

Connectivity is one of the major focuses of the Future Combat Air System or FCAS program, a ‘system of systems’ built around a sixth-generation fighter jet. The program includes the development of an ‘air combat cloud’ that will see various manned aircraft and unmanned air assets (Remote Carriers) collaborate.

Airbus and the DGA have not detailed the enhancements to self-protection capabilities. AeroTime sent a request for comment.

(Image Credit: DGA)

The French Air Force A330 MRTT No. 15 will be the first aircraft to receive the Standard 2…

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