EADS will provide air refuelling to RAF
AirTanker, the EADS-led consortium, has today signed a 27 year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence for the provision of air transport and air refuelling capability to the Royal Air Force. The AirTanker consortium has also completed its financing for the programme, raising approx £2.5 billion (€3.2 billion) for investment in the fleet, a new state-of-the-art operational base and associated infrastructure.
The Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme includes the provision of a fleet of 14 new tanker aircraft, based on the latest generation Airbus A330-200 to enter service from 2011, replacing the previous fleet of VC-10 and Tristar refuelling aircraft. The contract also includes provision for all necessary infrastructure, training, maintenance, flight management, fleet management and ground services to enable the RAF to fly air-to-air refuelling and transport missions worldwide. The A330 FSTA aircraft will be more than 50% British by value. Through this agreement, EADS will become the RAF’s leading supplier of transport aircraft, complementing its existing commitment to supply 25 A400M aircraft to the UK forces.
EADS CEO Louis Gallois commented: `We are proud to be providing the RAF with the very best air-to-air refuelling solution available internationally. The MoD`s requirements are known to be highly exacting, and we are grateful that its trust has been placed in EADS and our consortium partners, Cobham, Rolls-Royce, Thales and VT Group. For our part, this win further demonstrates the A330 as the platform of choice for the world`s refuelling fleets and comes on the back of our recent success in the US market. This award strengthens our ongoing commitment to grow our business in the UK in the long-term.`