Airbus Defence and Space announced that the first of four Airbus A330 MRTTs for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) landed at Gimhae Air Base in Busan on November 12, 2018.
The aircraft, MRTT050/16-001 (msn 1787), was lown by a joint Airbus and RoKAF crew and arrived in South Korea after its ferry light from Getafe, via Vancouver. The aircraft was then due to undergo a series of acceptance tests, supported by the manufacturer, until it is formally handed over to the RoKAF in 2019.
South Korea ordered four A330 MRTTs in June 2015 after a competition, which included the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker and a 767 derivative aircraft ofered by Israel Aircraft Industries. All four aircraft are expected to be in service by the end of 2019.
The RoKAF is the second air force in Asia to operate the A330 MRTT, behind the Republic of Singapore Air Force which unveiled the first of six aircraft it has on order during the service’s 50th Anniversary celebrations on September 1, 2018. The Royal Australian Air Force also operates the similar KC-30A tanker, with seven of eight aircraft on order now in service.