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    New kid in town.

    The aircraft, T-055 (c/n 1911/MRTT-055, ex F-WWCC, EC-336), an Airbus A330-243 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), arrived from the production facility in Getafe, Spain, where It had been formally handed-over and accepted yesterday. Following completion of MRTT conversion, it had made its first flight on January 21, 2019, at Getafe.

    The Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) fleet will provide strategic transport of people and cargo, will enhance substantially European air-to-air refueling capabilities and will be available for medical evacuation, if needed. Six NATO Allies have pooled resources to make this initiative possible – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. This effort has been supported by NATO and the European Union and is being billed as an example of effective cooperation between the two organizations when delivering critical capabilities for their members.

    The second aircraft is scheduled for delivery by the end of July 2020 and the rest of the fleet will follow by the end of 2024. The full fleet will consist of eight MRTT aircraft, with an option to extend the contract up to eleven aircraft in the future. The aircraft are owned by NATO and managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency with the support of the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation.

    The aircraft will be operated by a multinational unit, comprising of military personnel of the participating countries. The unit is based in a Main Operating Base at Eindhoven, which will host five aircraft, and a Forward Operating Base in Cologne-Bonn (Germany), where another three will be stationed as planned.