LUXEMBOURG – The Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) reached another significant milestone on 14 December 2020, as the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU) conducted the first Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) flight test with Dutch F-16 aircraft. The test flight is part of the certification process of the A330 MRTT and will allow the fleet to fly future AAR missions with the F-16 aircraft type.
This was the first refuelling mission using the Air Refuelling Boom System (ARBS), which opens up a completely new range of training missions for the multinational unit. The data gathered from the test flight will be used as compliance data for the certification of the MMU A330-MRTT as tanker with Dutch F-16A aircraft as receiver.
Further testing may be required to assess the AAR activities between the A330-MRTT and the F-16 during night conditions to fully support an unrestricted AAR clearance. Once the Dutch Military Aviation Authority (MAA-NLD), where all the MMF aircraft are registered, grants the certification, the MMU will be able to fly AAR missions with the boom system and the Dutch F-16A receiver, followed by F-16's in use by the other MMF nations.