Canada orders four Airbus A330 MRTT tankers

Canadian government will also convert another five A330-200s to air refueling and transport standard

The Government of Canada has confirmed the signing of a contract with Airbus Defense and Space to acquire four newly built A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, a military version of the A330-200 jetliner modified for aerial transport and refueling missions.

Apart from the acquisition of new planes, Canada also contracted the European manufacturer to convert another five aircraft of the type to the MRTT standard.

According to Airbus, the deal with the Canadian government is worth around C$3 billion (excluding taxes).

With deliveries scheduled for 2027, the new A330 MRTT fleet will replace the aging CC-150 Polaris (MRTT variant of the Airbus A310) of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The Polaris are currently employed by the RCAF in aerial resupply operations, military transport of personnel and cargo, aeromedical evacuations and displacement of officials of Canadian authorities.

MRTT infographic (Airbus)

Airbus Medical Evacuation kits

“As the world’s most advanced multirole tanker aircraft, the A330 MRTT perfectly matches Canada’s needs to protect its sovereignty as well as to enhance operations both in the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) as well as in NATO,” said Mike Schoellhorn, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defense and Space.

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Canada’s A330 MRTT will be equipped with hoses and drogue and an in-flight fuel transfer boom, as well as cybersecurity and countermeasures systems. The RCAF will also receive two Airbus Medical Evacuation kits, with resources for medical evacuation missions.

CC-150 Polaris (Kambui)

Following an open procurement process, in April 2021, Airbus was selected as the sole qualified supplier for the replacement of the RCAF’s CC-150s. At the beginning of the dispute, another option evaluated by the Canadians was the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus (based on the Boeing 767).

The Royal Canadian Air Force will be the 15th customer for the A330 MRTT, which has 76 orders.


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