Monday, December 4, 2023

Airbus A330 MRTT tanker aircraft could soon fly under Polish roundel

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

With 48 F-16 C/D, 48 FA-50 and 32 F-35A in service in 2030, perhaps supported by KF-21 Boramae and probably controlled by Saab 340 AEW air strike aircraft, the air forces will have 'an operational potential that is not only more than significant, but also has 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 effectiveness. For several years, Warsaw has undertaken to consult the available options, although they are relatively few in number: 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 in this competition, Warsaw having approached The Hague and Oslo in 2014 to acquire it jointly. But with the arrival of PiS to 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 maneuvering 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.

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To employ their fighter fleet to full potential independently, the Polish air forces will quickly need to acquire tanker aircraft.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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