Europe’s Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Flee will equip its A330 aerial tankers with self-protection systems made by Elbit Systems. The contract worth $46 million was awarded by NATO Support Procurement Agency (NSPA), deliveries will span over four years, to provide self-protection capabilities for the entire fleet of multinational tankers. Elbit Systems J-Music Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) and PAWS-IR missile approach warning systems, comprising anti-missile self-protection systems were selected to be fitted to the new Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aerial tankers scheduled to join the fleet beginning 2020.
The MFF is formed to provide a European AAR capability by 2020, as it begins to ‘inherit’ aerial refueling responsibilities of several NATO members, including the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Norway. The fleet will operate from the Eindhoven Airbase in the Netherlands. The MFF currently has seven aircraft on order, with one more expected to be added to the orders in 2018. The first is due for delivery in 2020.