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Airbus Military delivers A330 to Cobham for conversion into FSTA

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A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft. An Airbus Military photo

BOURNEMOUTH, UK (BNS): Airbus Military has delivered the first Airbus A330-200 aircraft to UK’s Cobham Aviation for conversion into the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) configuration for the Royal Air Force.

The aircraft, which is the third of 14 A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft ordered by the RAF, was delivered at Cobham’s Bournemouth facility on Sunday.

Airbus Military has already converted the first two A330-200s into FSTA configuration at its Getafe facility in Spain. The remaining 12 aircraft will be converted into similar configuration at Cobham's Bournemouth facility.

As part of the conversion programme, all the A330 MRTTs – which will be known in RAF service as ‘Voyager’ – will be fitted with two wing-mounted 905E aerial refuelling pods.

The first aircraft will commence operations by the end of this year, with the RAF operating the full fleet of 14 aircraft by the second half of the decade to replace its existing TriStar and VC10 aerial refuelling aircraft, Airbus Military said.

The FSTA is capable of carrying up to 300 passengers or a payload of up to 45 tonnes. It can conduct air-to-air refueling missions for a large variety of platforms, including Typhoon fighters and A400M heavy-lift transport aircraft.

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