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First multi-role tanker transport aircraft arrives at Eindhoven (SOUNDBITES)

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The first Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft procured by six NATO Allies and the European Defence Agency arrived at its main operating base in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, providing them with strategic tanker and transport capabilities.

Synopsis

The first Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft procured by NATO and the European Defence Agency (EDA) arrived at its main operating base in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. The aircraft is part of the Multinational Multirole Tanker and Transport Fleet (MMF), which will boost participating Allies’ ability to quickly respond to emergencies in multiple domains, including medical evacuation.
The fleet consists of eight Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft, which will be delivered between 2020 and 2024, and is managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). It provides Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway with strategic tanker and transport capabilities.
This project will substantially increase European capacity in air-to-air refuelling, and is an example of effective cooperation between NATO and the European Union in the delivery of critical defence capabilities. Sharing resources enables participating nations to get access to state-of-the-art capabilities that would be difficult or impossible to procure individually.
Footage includes soundbites from NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment Camille Grand, as well as from Commander of the Multinational Multirole Tanker Transporter Unit Jurgen van der Biezen, Dion Polman from European Defence Agency (EDA), Jan der Kinderen, MMF Project Manager at NSPA, Major Volker Vogel, Chief of National Support Element Germany, and Phillippe Bourlard, OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) Programme Manager for MMF.

Transcript

  1. (00:00) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Camille Grand – NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment
“The MRTT is a multi-role aircraft that serves three purposes. Number one, it is an air-to air refuelling tanker aircraft. Secondly, it is a strategic airlift aircraft, and thirdly it can organise medical evacuations.”

  1. (00:17) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Camille Grand – NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment
“One of the beauties of the MRTT project is that this is a flagship for NATO-EU cooperation. It is a project that has involved a number of players from the European Defence Agency to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency to OCCAR as the procurement agency. All of this supported by a NATO multinational cooperation. We do have both EU member states and NATO Allies joining forces in developing a capability, including some of them that didn’t have any air-to-air refuelling capabilities before that project was implemented.”

  1. (00:52) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Camille Grand – NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment
“Of course this a capability that is interoperable with the entire air forces of the Alliance and can therefore support the whole air operations and all operations of the Alliance quite successfully.”

  1. (01:08) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Camille Grand – NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment
“So the MRTT aircraft their first operation use was very much in support of the COVID-19 crisis because it is a strategic airlift aircraft that has been moving around medical supplies and equipment around Europe. It is also a medical evacuation aircraft and it has been used to move patients from one country to another, so for instance from France to Germany, under the best possible conditions.”

  1. (01:39) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) - Camille Grand – NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment
“The first planes are now entering into service. We expect the full operational capability to be reached in the next couple of years.”
  1. (01:50) COMMANDER JURGEN VAN DER BIEZEN
  2. (02:37) DION POLMAN, EUROPEAN DEFENCE AGENCY (EDA)
  3. (03:13) JAN DER KINDEREN, NATO SUPPORT AND PROCUREMENT AGENCY (NSPA)
  4. (03:43) MAJOR VOLKER VOGEL, CHIEF OF NATIONAL SUPPORT ELEMENT GERMANY
  5. (04:03) PHILIPPE BOURLARD, ORGANISATION FOR JOINT ARMAMENT COOPERATION (OCCAR)
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Reference
NATO816283
ID
1730