A statement of NATO can be seen that France acceded on 18 June, the multi-purpose tanker and transportability Initiative (MRTT-C). Paris drew a letter of intent with the five current MRTT-C participants Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. The MOU establishes areas of cooperation, including technical exchanges and joint training.
The MRTT-C initiative provides participants with strategic airlift, air-to-air refueling and medical evacuation capabilities. From 2020, the participating nations Airbus A330 MRTT want to use aircraft, which are to be procured in subsequent years a total of eight aircraft and operated.
Germany has two years ago (in June 2017 Memorandum of Understanding was signed at NATO headquarters in Brussels) joined the joint NATO / EU program to A330 Multi-Role Tanker Aircraft (along with Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway ) to acquire. Belgium came about in January 2018th
The multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) was initiated in 2012 by the European Defense Agency (EDA). The European Organization for the management of cooperative armament programs - OCCAR - manages the MMF-acquisition phase as Contract Executing Agent on behalf of NATO support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). After the acquisition phase NSP will be responsible for the full life cycle management of the fleet.
The program is funded by the participating nations. The aircraft are owned by the NATO. The participating nations have the right to use. According to reports, eight aircraft were ordered with the option for up to three more.
The deployment of the aircraft is to take place in Eindhoven (the seat of the European Air Transport Command) and Cologne.
The project is an example of effective cooperation between NATO and the European Union in the provision of critical skills.
Participation in the MRTT-C initiative is open to other NATO member states.
The Airbus A330 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) in France (Phénix called), is the military version of the A330-200. The now acceding to the MRTT-C France plans the procurement of 15 aircraft, the outdated, the KC-135to replace. In October, the first copy was adopted in 2023 should be 12 copies shipped. Four days after his admission (transfer of certificates of airworthiness, March 18, 2019) had the tanker its first mission under the "Opération Chammal". Under this designation, the French subsidiary of France at the US-led coalition against the Islamic State runs. - The extent to which France contributes aircraft in the initiative is currently unknown.
Hans Uwe Mergener