Airbus lands $1.27 billion French air tanker upgrade, service deals

FILE PHOTO: Airbus site in Toulouse

(Reuters) -Airbus said on Monday it had signed two contracts valued at 1.2 billion euros ($1.27 billion) to provide capability enhancement and in-service support of France's fleet of A330 MRTTs (Multi Role Tanker Transports).

The world's biggest planemaker said in a statement it had struck the deals with France's Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and Directorate of Aeronautic Maintenance (DMAe).

"We are honoured to contribute to one of France's most strategic capabilities," said Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space.

The programme will convert the French A330 MRTT into a high bandwidth communication relay node, with the aim of being connected in all circumstances, including jammed environments and extreme weather conditions, Airbus said.

The first of 15 French A330 MRTTs with these new capabilities is expected to be ready for the French Air Force in 2028, it said, adding that the second contract covers the in-service support of France's "Phenix" fleet of 12 A330 MRTTs.

With 79 orders from 15 countries, the A330 MRTT has a 90%market share outside the United States, Airbus said.

($1 = 0.9436 euros)

(Reporting by Michal Aleksandrowicz in Gdansk; Editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)