UK's first future strategic tanker takes flight

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By Craig Hoyle

Airbus has performed the maiden flight of the first Trent 700-powered A330-200 being built to deliver the UK's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft capability from 2011.

Performed at the company's Toulouse site on 4 June, the milestone will be followed by the aircraft's delivery to Airbus Military's Getafe plant near Madrid for "militarisation and tanker conversion" activities, says EADS UK-led AirTanker.

© Airbus

The AirTanker consortium also comprises refuelling equipment supplier Cobham, engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, Thales UK and support specialist VT Group. The tanker service will be delivered using 14 A330s under a 27-year private finance initiative deal worth around £13 billion ($20.9 billion).

© Airbus

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