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Multinational Multi Role Tanker and Transport (MRTT) Fleet (MMF)

The Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Fleet (MMF) provides strategic transport, air-to-air refueling (both boom and hose and drogue) and medical evacuation capabilities to its six participating nations: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Norway. Seven aircraft in the Fleet are already in service. Two aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2024, while the tenth aircraft will be delivered at the end of 2026. 

The Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) stands out as a unique example of effective cooperation between NATO and the European Union in delivering critical capabilities. The programme is based on a pooling and sharing concept, laid down in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in which the participating nations pool the aircraft and share costs while benefiting from economies of scale.  

The fleet is owned by NATO and managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).  The NSPA MMF team is based at the NSPA headquarters in Capellen (Luxembourg) but others provide support from other locations (Eindhoven, Cologne-Wahn, Bonn and Getafe).

NSPA provides this support to participating nations through its Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet Support Partnership.

The fleet is operated by the Multinational Multirole Tanker Transport Unit (MMU), comprising of military personnel from the participating countries. The unit is based at the Main Operating Base (MOB) in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) and the Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Cologne  (Germany).  

The 111 tonnes basic fuel capacity enables the aircraft to excel in air-to-air refueling missions without the need for any additional fuel tanks. Moreover it can provide, a maximum fuel flow rate of approximately 2,200 litres a minute, using a boom and a hose and drogue mechanism, can quickly fuel all of the aircraft in inventory with the MMF nations ( F-16, F-35, C-17, Eurofighters, Tornado and Gripen ) and most of the other aircraft used within NATO.

The Netherlands and Luxembourg initially launched the programme in July 2016, with The Netherlands as the lead nation for the project. Germany and Norway joined in 2017, Belgium followed in early 2018 and Czechia lastly joined the MMF programme in October 2019.

The MRTT Unit (MMU) declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on 23 March 2023. This enables the Fleet to perform all type of missions (Air Transport, Air to Air Refueling and Aeromedical Evacuation) to meet the full range of national and NATO requirements.

In 2023, Belgium added 1000 FHs to the programme. This resulted in the order of a 10th aircraft.

10 MRTT aircraft have been ordered to date. 7 aircraft have already been delivered to the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU) between 2020-2022.  Two aircraft (8 and9) are expected to be delivered in 2024, while the tenth aircraft will be delivered at the end of 2026.

The Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Unit (MMU) declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on 23 March 2023
MMF view from F-16 during air-to-air refueling operation. RNLAF

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