Airbus Explores Export Prospects For A330 Tanker/transport
Airbus DS is at an advanced stage of selling A330 MRTTs to three more countries. Qatar has selected to buy two pod/boom-equipped aircraft, while India has selected the A330 with Rolls-Royce engines and a pod/FRU tanking configuration. Airbus has finalized negotiations, including offset packages, and has pre-signed the contract. A signature is hoped for before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, France is close to signing for nine aircraft, plus three options, and has already joined the tanker user group that is the main customer/industry forum. France was initially looking at a cargo door option for its MRTTs, and Airbus DS took that study as far as preliminary design review. However, it is now likely that this requirement will be dropped.
Other immediate prospects for the A330 MRTT include Korea, Airbus DS having responded to an RFP last month, and the European Defence Agency. This organization has brought together several interested nations, such as the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain, which may look to pool their individual requirements into one large order to a more attractive price. This could also result in a shared or pooled operational fleet.