Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet expands significantly
Germany and Norway to join the MMF
In a signing ceremony on 25 September, 2017, the current Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) acquisition contract with industry was amended to include both Germany and Norway as participants to the MMF project along with the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This contract amendment is the direct result of the German and Norwegian decision to join the overarching Memorandum of Understanding for a European multinational fleet of Airbus tanker transport aircraft during the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting on 29 June.
Mr. Arturo Alfonso-Meiriño, OCCAR Director, Mr. Bernhard Brenner, Airbus Defence & Space Executive Vice President Marketing and Sales, and Mr. Didier Plantecoste, Airbus Defence & Space Head of Tanker Programmes and Derivatives officially signed the amendment at OCCAR/EA offices in Bonn, Germany.
This amendment exercises a contract option to significantly increase the scope of the project from the two A330 MRTT aircraft initially ordered to seven aircraft in total, including also options for up to four additional aircraft (potential increase to 11 aircraft in total). The contract amendment signifies an important evolution of the MMF Programme as a key capability for NATO and European Air Forces, demonstrates the increasing confidence of European nations in the cooperative solution achieved by the European Union and NATO and recognizes the A330 MRTT product. Further nations are expected to join the MMF in the future and to exercise the available contract options.
Also in attendance at this important signing ceremony were Mr. Peter Dohmen, General Manager, NSPA, representatives of the participating nations and EDA.
The MMF project was initiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in 2012 and the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement (OCCAR) manages the acquisition as the NATO Support and Procurement Agency’s Contract Executing Agent. The acquisition phase was launched in July 2016 with the signing of the original contract and includes the first two years of support. Following the acquisition phase, NSPA will be responsible for the complete life-cycle management of the fleet.
The Programme is funded by the four participants to the MMF project who will have the exclusive right to use these NATO-owned aircraft which will operate in a pooling arrangement. The aircraft will be configured for inflight refuelling, the transport of passengers (including VIPs) and cargo as well as for medical evacuation flights. The aircraft will be operated by a multinational unit from the Main Operating Base (MOB) in Eindhoven (NLD) and Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Cologne (GER).
The delivery of the seven A330 MRTT aircraft currently on contract from Airbus Defence and Space’s tanker conversion line at Getafe near Madrid is expected between 2020 and 2022.