Airbus Secures €1.2 Billion Contracts for the Enhancement of French A330 MRTTs
Airbus Defence and Space has inked two monumental contracts, cumulatively valued at €1.2 billion, with France's Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) and Direction de la Maintenance Aéronautique (DMAé). These contracts focus on the Capability Enhancement and In-Service Support of the French A330 MRTTs (Multi Role Tanker Transport) fleet.
Key Highlights from the Announcement:
- A Vote of Confidence: Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space, expressed gratitude to the French Ministry of Armed Forces for their unwavering trust in the Airbus A330 MRTT. He emphasized Airbus's commitment to transforming the MRTT into an in-flight communications hub, laying the foundation for the future Multi Role Tanker Transport embedded in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).
- Standard 2 Contract: This contract aims to extend the capabilities of the French MRTTs, with a primary focus on connectivity and self-protection. The aircraft will be equipped with the MELISSA satcom station, ensuring seamless communication even in challenging environments. This enhancement will transform the French A330 MRTT into a high-bandwidth communication relay node, paving the way for its integration into the future air combat cloud within the FCAS.
- In-Service Support: Spanning a decade with an option for an additional two years, the second contract covers the support of the 'Phénix' fleet stationed at the Istres Air Base in southern France. Airbus, in collaboration with its French partners, will oversee fleet modernization, maintenance, logistics, and technical support.
- Operational Excellence: The support services introduced under these contracts are designed to meet the stringent requirements of the French Air Force and the Strategic Air Forces, ensuring optimal availability, responsiveness, and resilience, even for aircraft deployed outside France.
- Impressive Track Record: Operating under the moniker 'Phénix', the French Air and Space Force currently boasts 12 A330 MRTTs, accumulating over 18,000 flight hours. France stands as the largest A330 MRTT customer, having ordered 15 units. Globally, with 79 orders from 15 countries, the A330 MRTT dominates the market, holding a 90% share outside the USA and logging more than 270,000 flight hours.
The recent contracts between Airbus and French defense agencies underscore the aviation giant's commitment to innovation and excellence. As the aviation landscape evolves, Airbus continues to solidify its position as a leader, driving advancements in military air systems and beyond.