The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has received its first Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. Manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space announced today that the service had taken delivery of the aircraft at Busan.
“The new-generation A330 MRTT extends the endurance and range of the ROKAF’s fighter aircraft, and provides the service with strategic transport capability for passengers and freight,” the company said in an accompanying press release.
The South Korean A330 MRTT is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and is equipped with the Airbus Refuelling Boom System (ARBS). The aircraft can be configured in a variety of layouts to carry passengers and freight or for medical evacuation.
South Korea is the seventh A330 MRTT operator and one of 12 nations to have ordered the aircraft to date. This latest delivery brings the total in-service fleet to 35.
The Republic of Korea selected the A330 MRTT in June 2015 in favour of the rival Boeing KC-46 Pegasus and Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) Boeing 767 MMTT. Seoul’s $1.26bn KC-X programme aims to deliver four tankers by the end of this year.
Fernando Alonso, Executive Vice President, Airbus, said: “The A330 MRTT has clearly established itself as the world’s premier tanker and strategic transport aircraft, and has been widely praised by the current operators. It will be a critical asset of the ROKAF and leading air forces worldwide for many decades.”