Spanish Air Force: the Six Top Modernization Priorities of 2018
(Source: ABC; posted Feb 7, 2018) By Esteban Villarejo
(Issued in Spanish; unofficial translation by
The [Spanish] Air Force on Wednesday published a statement entitled "The Air Force on the path of renewal" in which it states that "it is expected that in the next few months the incorporation of Airbus A330 MRTT tankers will be studied to replace the Boeing 707, recently retired."

This will satisfy its top operational priority, as the Air Force has made clear in different meetings with the media.

It should be remembered that, in 2015, the Ministry of Defense had almost closed with Airbus a contract for the acquisition of three MRTT aircraft (Multi Role Tanker Transport) for some 600 million euros. This military aircraft is converted at the Airbus factory in Getafe (Madrid) from a standard A330-200 passenger aircraft.

The Air Force's communiqué also reviews other types of acquisitions or milestones:

- Reaper Unmanned aircraft:
This year the first of four MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft will be delivered. The remotely piloted aircraft Predator B (known as Reaper) is developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in the United States. These UAVs will be based on the aerodromes of Badajoz and Lanzarote, according to Air Force sources.

-- Two Additional A400M transport aircraft:
Presently, Ala 31, located at Zaragoza air base, has two A400M military transport aircraft. Two more will be added this year.

-- Eurofighter Program: a few weeks ago, two Eurofighter combat jets assembled on the Airbus Defense and Space final assembly line at Getafe (Madrid), were delivered to the Ala 14 based in Albacete. In the coming years, additional aircraft will be delivered to the fighter wings until all 72 planned aircraft are delivered.

-- Helicopters: the Air Force communique states that the three new Super Púmas for 802 Squadron based at Gando Air Base, in Gran Canaria, are already operational and ready to perform rescue and rescue missions.

-- Training aircraft: the Air Force is evaluating the future replacement of the C-101 training aircraft in service at the General Air Academy. Some sources report that in this section, the favorite aircraft is the American Beechcraft T-6 Texan II, manufactured by Beechcraft, a Raytheon company.


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