The sixth Airbus Defence and Space KC-30A MRTT for the RAAF arrived at Amberley, south-east Queensland on September 1.
The former A330-203 airliner saw service with Qantas and Jetstar as VH-EBH and first flew in 2007. It was converted to MRTT configuration by Airbus Defence and Space at Getafe near Madrid and arrived at Amberley, where it will enter service with 33 Squadron, wearing its Spanish test registration MRTT039.
The aircraft requires the completion of airworthiness directive (AD) and service bulletin (SB) work, Australian Defence Business Review understands, as well as hardware and software configuration upgrades to bring it up to a common standard with the RAAF’s five existing KC-30As before being accepted into service.
Once the ADs and SBs have been addressed and signed-off on by an Airbus-certified authority the aircraft can be accepted onto the Commonwealth register as A39-006.
The RAAF’s seventh and final MRTT, also a former Qantas A330 – VH-EBI – is currently being modified to MRTT standard at Getafe. Along with its standard air-to-air refuelling capabilities, A39-007 will also feature a “government transport” VIP interior. It is due for delivery in late 2019.
The government approved Project AIR 7403 Phase 3 for the acquisition of two additional KC-30As in June 2015.