The new aircraft are Kuwait Airways A330-200s. The contract (US$102 million excluding taxes) for the acquisition and preparation of two aircraft was awarded to International AirFinance Corporation following a competitive process on June 13, 2022.
In order to get the planes into service as soon as possible, Canada wants to leave the seats on the planes “for a transitional period” as the Kuwaitis have ordered. Kuwait Airways operates the jets with 17 seats in first class, 30 in business class and 165 in economy class.
The A330s are part of the Strategic Tanker Transport Capability (STTC) project. They are designed to perform a variety of tasks such as air-to-air refueling of other aircraft, transportation of military personnel and cargo, medical evacuations, and transportation of Canadian government officials.
The objective is to improve flexibility, responsiveness, interoperability with allied countries, communications security and self-protection.
The RCAF intends to acquire a total of six A330s over the next few years. However, the purchase of the next four has not yet been confirmed.
As part of the project, a solution for the maintenance of the aircraft in operation as well as an infrastructure for the accommodation and maintenance of the fleet will be acquired. In addition, training and simulation options for crews will be created as part of the project.
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