NATO A330 Tanker Fleet Achieves Initial Operational Capability

NATO’s A330 multinational multi-roe tanker transporter (MRTT) fleet has achieved initial operational capability for a complete range of missions.

The planes will now support NATO-related aerial deployments, including air-to-air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and strategic transport.

The A330s are stationed at the Main Operating Base in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and Forward Operating Base in Cologne, Germany.

They are owned by NATO, overseen by the Support and Procurement Agency, and operated by the Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Unit, which consists of military aircrews from six MRTT nation partners.

NATO Airpower ‘Backbone’

A ceremony was held for the milestone at Eindhoven Air Base. It was attended by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, European Defence Agency Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, and representatives from among MRTT users.

During the event, participants signed a memorandum of understanding to integrate the 10th aircraft in 2026.

Seven of the aircraft are now in service, with another two expected to be delivered this year.

“This fleet has already proven its value and it is the backbone of NATO’s airpower,” Stoltenberg said at the ceremony.

“In 2022 alone, this fleet flew more than 500 missions, refuelling hundreds of fighter jets that keep Allied airspace safe.”

“I would like to thank the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, the European Defence Agency and OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) for working together to develop this state-of-the-art fleet.”

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