Belgium takes flying super tanker into service
Before the year is out the Belgian air force will have taken a new air tanker into service. Nine of these aircraft, an Airbus 330 MRTT, are being purchased jointly by Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Airbus 330 MRTT, dubbed the ‘Flying Tanker’, is a military version of the A330. MRTT stands for Multi-Role Tanker Transport. It can be used as a tanker but can also carry up to 300 troops as well as freight.
Most of the nine aircraft will be based in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where 25 Belgians will be deployed. The order cost the Belgian taxpayer some 258 million euros. The aircraft will be shared but individual countries will be able to call on the use of several aircraft at one time in the event of emergences, e.g. evacuations.
The air tanker can supply F-16s, F-35s, Eurofighter Typhoons and Tornadoes.