Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the order by the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) on August 25, 2020 of three Airbus A330 aircraft as part of the government plan to support the aeronautical industry announced on June 9. The contract is worth 200 million euros. The first two aircraft will be delivered at the end of 2020, and the third in 2022.
These three A330s will be eventually be converted into Phoenix MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) military aircraft. They will then complement the 12 MRTTs expected to be in service by 2023, bringing the Air Force's MRTT fleet to 15 aircraft, in accordance with the final objective fixed by the multiyear Military Planning Law (LPM).
This order will make it possible to advance the withdrawal from service of the Air Force’s two A340s and two A310s, and will ultimately simplify the management of the strategic military aircraft fleet which will be entirely composed of MRTT Phénix.
The advance order for these three A330 aircraft is a concrete and immediate measure of the support of the Ministry of the Armed Forces for the aeronautical industry sector. The total amount of orders that will be placed by the DGA as part of the support of the Ministry of the Armed Forces to the aeronautics industry (advance orders for planes, helicopters and drones) will amount to 600 million euros, with another 230 million euros for the acquisition of helicopters for the benefit of the Civil Protection service and the Gendarmerie Nationale police.
The DGA, in addition to its role of technical authority for state-owned aircraft, conducts aircraft acquisition and modernization projects for the benefit of the Ministry of the Interior. In this context, it applies its proven program management methodology to military programs, with the development of a detailed technical specification and an acquisition strategy in close collaboration with users, negotiation and market monitoring with the manufacturer, and finally the qualification (verification that technical specifications are met) and the acceptance of the aircraft (verification of contractual conformity).