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EADS A330 MRTT Selected by the United Arab Emirates.

Decision Is the Latest Competitive Success for the Multi-role Tanker/Transport

ARLINGTON, Va. -- EADS' A330 Multi-role Tanker/Transport (MRTT) has won its third international competition with the United Arab Emirates' down-select of the aircraft to meet aerial refueling requirements of the country's air force and air defense.

This decision further consolidates the A330 MRTT's position as the most advanced and capable air-to-air refueling aircraft available on the market. It follows the Royal Australian Air Force's contract for five A330 MRTTs (designated the KC-30B), as well as the United Kingdom's A330 MRTT selection as the preferred solution for its Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) requirement.

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) expected order will be for three A330 MRTT aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2011.

UAE's A330 MRTTs will be equipped with EADS' centerline-mounted advanced Air Refueling Boom System (ARBS), along with a pair of underwing hose and drogue refueling pods. This arrangement is similar to that specified for the Royal Australian Air Force's refueling aircraft, and it also is being proposed for the Northrop Grumman KC-30 tanker offered in the U.S. Air Force's recapitalization of its aging KC-135 tanker fleet.

"The A330 MRTT's selection in three separate international competitions is a validation of this aircraft's superior capabilities as a tanker, as well as its potential to be a true multi-mission force multiplier," said EADS North America Chairman and CEO Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "With our team leader Northrop Grumman, we look forward to offering the most competitive solution for the U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker replacement."

Based on the proven A330 commercial airliner, the A330 MRTT/KC-30 provides a total air mobility solution - with exceptional capacity for in-flight refueling, plus full flexibility in cargo delivery, passenger transport, aeromedical evacuation and other missions.

The United Arab Emirates' A330 MRTT order adds to the growing military and civil bookings for the A330 family of twin-engine aircraft. To date, some 680 sales have been logged for A330s, including the military tanker/transports, the new A330-200F Freighter, and passenger airliners for international carriers worldwide.

The initial A330 MRTT for the Royal Australian Air Force is well along in the outfitting of its mission equipment, which will include the centerline ARBS, underwing refueling pods, and an electronic warfare self-protection suite to counter surface-to-air missiles.

EADS' ARBS has undergone a rigorous flight test program, and is now in its final in-flight validation phase. This all-electric fly-by-wire system provides highly accurate, reliable in-flight refueling and is the result of a nearly three year, $100 million EADS self-funded research and development effort. Using a 3D-vision surveillance system, the boom operator can remotely control ARBS operations from the cockpit during air-to-air refueling.

In addition to the A330 MRTT successes in Australia, the UK and the United Arab Emirates, EADS has delivered tankers based on the A310 aircraft to the Air Forces of Canada and Germany.

About EADS North America (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)

EADS North America is the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $10 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 190,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. With 12 operating companies located in 30 cities and 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 22, 2007
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