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The Royal Australian Air Force and Airbus Defence & Space will launch a joint study into how to add capability to the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).
The aim of the work will be to better use the presence of such a large airborne asset operating near a combat zone, says Fernando Alonso, chief executive of Airbus Military.
The project, called Smart Tanker, will explore the possibility of using the MRTT, which the RAAF designates the KC-30A, as a communications node or a command and control centre.
Advanced mission systems are also fitted. They include the Link 16 real-time data-link, military communications and navigation suites, and an electronic warfare self-protection system for protection against threats from surface-to-air missiles.
the KC-30A is capable of carrying 270 passengers, comes with under-floor cargo compartments and will be able to accommodate 34,000 kgs of military and civilian cargo pallets and containers.
The KC-30A MRTT has a fuel capacity of more than 100 tonnes, and can remain 1800km from its home base with 50 tonnes of fuel available to offload for up to four hours.
and an electronic warfare self-protection system for protection against threats from surface-to-air missiles.
Sources say preliminary reports suggest the boom’s probe snapped off near the F-16’s receptacle, causing the boom to spring up and strike the underside of the KC-30, possibly snapping off one of its two guiding fins and causing it to oscillate wildly until it snapped off at the pivot point