The video shows the operation of the boom on the new A330 tanker. The boom allows for much more rapid refueling than legacy tankers, greater security in operating the boom in night refueling operations and gives the aircraft an augmented capability to refuel more air platforms at the same time. This will be especially important for concurrent refueling of manned and unmanned platforms, a characteristic for 21st century air operations.
The third Australian A330 recently landed at Dover AFB on its way back from conversion operations in Australia for final test and preparation in Europe.
Currently, there are 28 A330 MRTT on order with four nations – the United Kingdom (14), Australia (5), Saudia Arabia (6), and the United Arab Emirates (3). The UAE is likely to buy an additional 3 tankers which would bring the total to 31 A330 MRTTs.
***Posted November 2nd, 2009