Airbus A330 MRTT tanker could soon fly under Polish badge

The Polish Air Force is close to switching to the Airbus A330 MRTT according to recent statements by the country's military authorities

With 48 F-16 C/D, 48 FA-50 and 32 F-35A in service in 2030, possibly supported by KF-21 Boramae and probably controlled by Saab 340 AEW aerial lookout aircraft, the air forces will have an operational potential not only more than significant, but also endowed with a high degree of autonomy.

However, one type of aircraft is sorely lacking in this fleet, the tanker aircraft capable of increasing the autonomy of combat aircraft, and therefore their operational efficiency. For several years, Warsaw has undertaken to consult the options available, although these are relatively few: the KC-130 from Lockheed-Martin and the Boeing KC-46A across the Atlantic, and the European A330 MRTT.

The Airbus aircraft was once considered the big favorite of this competition, Warsaw having approached The Hague and Oslo in 2014 to acquire it jointly. But with the arrival of the PiS in power in 2015, relations between Warsaw and Airbus deteriorated considerably after the cancellation of the contract for the local manufacture of around fifty H225M Caracal maneuver helicopters.

In fact, in 2016, Poland also withdrew from the European initiative to implement a common fleet of A330 MRTT tankers, leaving little chance for the European aircraft to convince in this country.

F 16 poland Military planning and plans | Aircraft Tankers | Military aircraft construction
To employ their full potential fighter fleet autonomously, the Polish Air Force will quickly need to equip itself with tanker aircraft.

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