On 5 May 2020, after five months of preparation, the OCCAR-EA Director, Matteo Bisceglia and Airbus Defence and Space representatives, Mr Didier Plantecoste and Mr Hervé Daumas signed MMF Contract Amendment 9.
This Contract Amendment concentrates on capabilities required upon Entry Into Service of the first MMF Aircraft.
Due to the COVID-19 circumstances the Amendment has come into force upon exchange of signature pages.
MMF (Multinational MRTT Fleet) Acquisition
Within the Air-to-Air Refuelling Initiative of the EDA several Nations have agreed to co-operate in a multinational Programme: The Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Aircraft Fleet which will provide additional tanker and transport aircraft capability in Europe.
The MMF Programme will provide air-to-air refuelling, transport of passengers and cargo and medical evacuations (based on the Airbus A330-200).
The aircraft will be owned by NATO and operated in a pooling arrangement. OCCAR will manage the MMF Acquisition Phase, including the first two years of In-Service Support, as the Contract Executing Agent for the NATO Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA). NSPA will then be responsible for Life-Cycle Management of the fleet. The first aircraft delivery is planned for mid-2020.
The Programme was initially launched in July 2016 by The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Germany and Norway joined the Programme in 2017 and Belgium followed in early 2018. (The Czech Republic joined in January—Ed.) This arrangement is open to other European Nations who have expressed their interest and additional aircraft are already considered as options in the current contract to accommodate the potential operational needs of further nations.
The Airbus A330-200 is a new generation strategic tanker / transport aircraft. The large 111-tonne basic fuel capacity enables the aircraft to excel in air-to-air refuelling missions without the need for any additional fuel tanks within the passenger area.
The aircraft is offered with a choice of proven air-to air refuelling systems. Thanks to its true widebody fuselage, it can also be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry up to 267 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes. It can also be easily converted into Medical Evacuation Configuration to accommodate up to 6 Intensive Care Units and 16 stretchers.
The contract with Airbus Defence and Space was signed in July 2016 and the Programme Division was setup on 1st September 2016 in Bonn. The MMF contract covered the acquisition of 8 aircraft and options for up to 3 additional aircraft, potentially increasing the total number to 11 aircraft. Many nations are closely following the Programme and showing interest in the additional options available.