Cobham Enables Airbus A330 Air-to-Air Refuelling Flight Demonstrations — Press Release

by: Matthew Potter
November 30, 2009

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Cobham Enables Airbus A330 Air-to-Air Refuelling Flight Demonstrations

WIMBORNE, United Kingdom – Cobham air-to-air refuelling pods have successfully demonstrated the ability to transfer fuel from the Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) to Spanish Air Force F-18s with a series of “probe-to-drogue” contacts during recent flight trials.

The 905E refuelling pods, built by Cobham Mission Equipment at Wimborne, UK, represent the Company’s latest generation Aerial Refuelling System, which is the first and only hose & drogue system in the world to employ a dual redundant hose response system — a major contributor to world leading mission availability. During a series of contacts conducted during November 2009, the refuelling system transferred fuel to receiver aircraft and demonstrated effective hose response throughout the trials.

“These ‘wet contact’ flight trials are a major milestone in the development of the A330 MRTT’s tanker capability,” said Iain Gibson, vice president of Cobham Mission Equipment. “This achievement reinforces Cobham’s expertise and position as the world leader in delivering air refuelling solutions to meet the strategic and tactical tanker requirements of air forces around the globe.”

The Royal Australian Air Force A330MRTT platform used for these flight tests is similar in configuration to the solution that Northrop Grumman intends to propose to the US Air Force in response to the KC-X Tanker requirement. The A330 MRTT with 905E pods has also been selected for the UK MoD FSTA programme, the Saudi Arabia Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force.

About Cobham:

Cobham’s products and services have been at the heart of sophisticated military and civil systems for 75 years, keeping people safe, improving communications, and enhancing the capability of land, sea, air and space platforms. The Company has four divisions employing more than 12,000 people on five continents, with customers and partners in over 100 countries and annual revenue of more than £1.4bn / $2.1 billion.

Cobham Mission Equipment is the world market leader for air-to-air Refuelling, providing fourth generation ‘nose to tail’ solutions from the cockpit of the donor aircraft to the tail of the receiver platform. To date, more than 1,000 systems have been delivered for buddy-buddy refuelling and for tactical and strategic tanking for fixed and rotary wing aircraft, with expertise now extended into the development of autonomous UAV to UAV refuelling.


Greg Caires
Julian Wais
Media Relations
Investor Relations

+1 703 414 5319
+44 (0) 1202 857998

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