Busan - South Korean Air Force has taken delivery of the first of four Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. The A330 MRTT will significantly contribute to the combat readiness of the country against Pyongyang. The remaining three aircraft will join their fleet by the end of 2019.
The A330 MRTT extends the flight range of fighter jets with air-to-air refueling while providing strategic transport for task forces and freight at the same time.
The A330 MRTT of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) is equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and can be configured for multi tasks such as transporting task forces and military equipment or the aeromedical evacuation.
Airbus's A330 MRTT won the South Korean bid against the Boeing's KC-46A Pegasus and B767-300 Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) of Israel Aerospace Industries.
The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) justified its choice of tanker aircraft with Airbus A330 MRTT's superior combat range and payload capacity besides its affordable price compared to its rivals.
South Korea becomes the seventh country to operate Airbus A330 MRTT. This latest delivery brings the total number of A330 MRTTs to 35 that are currently in service around the globe with the respective air forces.