Multi Role Tanker

Airbus has formally delivered the first of eight Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft ordered by the NATO Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) after a ceremony held at the Airbus Getafe site in Spain. The official acceptance of this first aircraft marks a decisive milestone towards the entry into service of this multinational unit formed by the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

The above image shows the first A330 MRTT taking off during an industrial flight performed at Getafe, Spain

The aircraft will take off tomorrow towards its Main Operating Base located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The MMF fleet will also operate from a second location, the Forward Operating Base in Cologne, Germany.

Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, said: «The NATO MMF programme perfectly represents the future of defence cooperation and shows the true success of the pooling and sharing concept. As a trusted partner for the armed forces, Airbus is extremely proud to see its A330 MRTT at the forefront and ready to secure decisive capabilities and interoperability for NATO partner nations».

Peter Dohmen, NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) General Manager, said: «The MMF programme is a prime example of excellent cooperation between nations, the EU and NATO and the strong collaboration between OCCAR and NSPA. This unique state-of-the-art capability will enable our participating nations to perform a wide range of operations in multiple domains. We thank the nations for their continued trust in NSPA as the system manager and wish them success in their future missions».

Matteo Bisceglia, Director of the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), said: «The delivery of the first MMF aircraft marks a key milestone of the MMF ADS acquisition contract managed by OCCAR. OCCAR is proud to have delivered this aircraft to the customer on time without any shortfalls in performance or over cost. Key points for this success are the MMF Nations’ trust in the ability of NSPA and OCCAR to efficiently manage the Programme, the excellent cooperation with the EU and the willingness to succeed of the experienced MMF team».

The MMF programme is funded by the six nations which will have the exclusive right to operate the NATO-owned aircraft in a pooling arrangement. The aircraft will be configured for in-flight refuelling, the transport of passengers and cargo, and medical evacuation operations.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) initiated the MMF programme in 2012. OCCAR manages the MMF acquisition phase and the first two years of the Initial In-Service-Support as Contract Executing Agent on behalf of NSPA. Following the acquisition phase, NSPA will be responsible for the complete life-cycle management of the fleet.

The A330 MRTT combines the advanced technology of a new generation tanker with the operational experience recorded during more than 200,000 flight hours in service. The A330 MRTT is interoperable with receivers worldwide and delivers true multi-role capabilities as proven during the recent medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and strategic transport missions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Its Own Power

After a successful launch this afternoon, June 30, 2020, the third Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite is now headed to orbit under its own propulsion. The satellite has separated from its rocket and is using onboard power to climb to its operational orbit, approximately 12,550 miles above the Earth.

Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Space Vehicle 03, launched on June 30, 2020, as it appeared in the company’s cleanroom GPS III Processing Facility

GPS III Space Vehicle 03 (GPS III SV03) is responding to commands from U.S. Space Force and Lockheed Martin engineers in the Launch & Checkout Center at the company’s Denver facility. There, they declared rocket booster separation and satellite control about 90 minutes after the satellite’s 4:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

«In the coming days, GPS III SV03’s onboard liquid apogee engines will continue to propel the satellite towards its operational orbit», said Tonya Ladwig, Lockheed Martin’s Acting Vice President for Navigation Systems. «Once it arrives, we’ll send the satellite commands to deploy its solar arrays and antennas, and prepare the satellite for handover to Space Operations Command».

After on-orbit testing, GPS III SV03 is expected to join the GPS constellation – including GPS III SV01 and SV02, which were declared operational in January and April – in providing positioning, navigation and timing signals for more than four billion military, civil and commercial users.

Lockheed Martin designed GPS III to help the Space Force modernize the GPS constellation with new technology and capabilities. The new GPS IIIs provide three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities over any previous GPS satellite. They also offer a new L1C civil signal, which is compatible with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe’s Galileo, to improve civilian user connectivity.

GPS III also continues the Space Force’s plan to field M-Code, a more-secure, harder-to-jam and spoof GPS signal for our military forces. GPS III SV03 brings the number of M-Code enabled satellites to 22 in the 31-satellite GPS constellation.

«As a nation, we use GPS signals every day – they time-stamp all our financial transactions, they make aviation safe, they make precision farming possible, and so much more. GPS has become a critical part of our national infrastructure. In fact, the U.S. economic benefit of GPS is estimated to be over $300 billion per year and $1.4 trillion since its inception», added Ladwig. «Continued investment in modernizing GPS – updating technology, improving its capabilities – is well worth it».

Lockheed Martin is proud to be a part of the GPS III team led by the Space Production Corps Medium Earth Orbit Division, at the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base. The GPS Operational Control Segment sustainment is managed by the Enterprise Corps, GPS Sustainment Division at Peterson Air Force Base. The 2nd Space Operations Squadron, at Schriever Air Force Base, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

For Special Operations

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, and Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B Osprey for fleet operations to the U.S. Navy on June 22. The V-22 is based at Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

The first CMV-22B Osprey assigned to Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 landed at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego on June 22 (U.S. Navy photo)

«This first fleet delivery marks a new chapter of the V-22 Tiltrotor program providing enhanced capabilities and increased flexibility to the U.S. Navy as they conduct important operational missions around the globe», said Shane Openshaw, Boeing vice president of Tiltrotor Programs and deputy director of the Bell Boeing team.

This aircraft is the third overall delivery to the U.S. Navy. Bell Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B Osprey at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in February for developmental testing, followed by a second in May. The U.S. Navy variant V-22 will take over the Carrier Onboard Delivery Mission, replacing the C-2A Greyhound.

«We are thrilled to bring the Osprey’s capabilities as a warfighting enabler and its ability to provide time sensitive logistics to the men and women deployed around the world in support of U.S. Navy operations», said Kurt Fuller, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing program director.

The CMV-22B Osprey and C-2A Greyhound conducted a symbolic passing of the torch flight in April.

«The CMV-22 will be a game-changing enabler to the high end fight supporting the sustainment of combat lethality to the carrier strike group», said U.S. Navy Captain Dewon Chaney, Commodore, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing. «The multi-mission capabilities of the CMV-22, already recognized, will be realized in Naval Aviation’s Air Wing of the future. The arrival of this aircraft is the first of many steps to that becoming reality».

The CMV-22B Osprey carries up to 6,000 pounds/2,722 kg of cargo and combines the Vertical TakeOff, hover and Landing (VTOL) qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft.

Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant to have the expanded range needed for fleet operations. Two additional 60-gallon tanks and redesigned forward sponson tanks can cover more than 1,150 nautical miles. The CMV-22B Osprey also has the unique ability to provide roll-on/roll-off delivery of the F135 engine power module, enhancing the U.S. Navy’s readiness.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces
Contractor Bell-Boeing
Date Deployed 2009
Propulsion Two Rolls-Royce Liberty AE1107C engines, each deliver 6,200 shaft horsepower/4,560 kW
Rotor Diameter 38 feet/11.58 meters; Blades per rotor: Three
Length 63 feet/19.2 meters
Height 22 feet/6.7 meters, 1 inch/2.54 centimeters with nacelles vertical
Wingspan 84.6 feet/25.79 meters with rotors turning
Maximum gross, Vertical Take-Off 52,600 lbs./23,859 kg
Maximum gross, Short Take-Off 57,000 lbs./ 25,855 kg
Airspeed Cruise: 280 knots/322 mph/519 km/h
Ceiling 25,000 feet/7,620 meters
Range 2,100 NM/2,417 miles/3,889 km with internal auxiliary fuel tanks
Crew 4 – pilot, copilot, flight engineer, crew chief; 24 troops