The French Air Force announced the reception of a second A330 Phénix.
On July 2nd, the French Air Force received its second A330 Phénix at Istres air base 125. It will in the end join and reinforce the 31st Air Refueling and Strategic Transport squadron.
In the meantime, the first two A330 Phénix should be operational in October, after “a technical and operational evaluation campaign to develop procedures for using the device in operations” has explained the French Air Force. They will progressively be joint by additional A330. The Act on Military Programming stipulates a delivery of 15 aircraft over the period 2019-2025.
These multi-role aircraft will allow the French Air Force to modernize two of its fleets. On one hand, the Phénix will replace the C135-FR and the KC135FR currently used for the air refueling campaigns as it can carry 110 tonnes of fuel. It will also be used for strategic as well as freight transport aiming to replace A310 and A340. Finally, “dedicated mainly to the mission of nuclear deterrence, the Phénix will also ensure the missions of protection of the territory (through its contribution to the permanent posture of safety), projection of forces and power and medical transport in case of massive health emergency”, details the Air Force.