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FRANCE SIGNS UP FOR 12 A330 MULTI-ROLE TANKER TRANSPORTS
Thursday, November 20, 2014

Source: Airbus Military

PARIS - After years of prevarication France is finally moving ahead with a purchase of new aerial refueling tankers. An announcement was made by France' Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at a high-level conference regarding the French nuclear deterrent on November 20. The contract, drafted by the state arms procurement agency Direction Generale de l'Armament (DGA), was - as expected - extended to Airbus Defense and Space for 12 A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTTs). It will enter effect starting in early December and result in the first model being delivered in 2018. Following that initial delivery a second model will arrive in 2019, with further deliveries undertaken at a rate of 1-2 per year thereafter.

France has been looking to replace the Air Force's 1960s-legacy fleet of 14 Boeing C-135s in the in-flight refueling role for years with a requirement for 12 new multi-role tankers outlined in the latest Defense White Paper unveiled in 2013. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and equipped with an Airbus Refueling Boom System, the new A330 MRTTs - to be referred to by the French Air Force as 'Phoenix' - will also replace the three A310s and two A340s currently in service. In addition to its utilization as an inflight refueling platform the A330 Phoenix will also be reconfigurable to handle both intensive-care medical evacuation duties and transport for anywhere between 271 passengers and 88 (in the event of medevac usage).

The total cost of the French acquisition is EUR3 billion ($3.8 billion), including support and training, spare parts, ground support equipment, training devices and five years of maintenance support.

Source:  Defense News
Associated URL: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141120/DEFREG01/311200044/France-Orders-12-
Source Date: November 20, 2014
Author: D. Darling, Europe Analyst 
Posted: 11/21/2014

 

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