The 10th Phénix A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft was delivered to the French Air and Space Force by the French Directorate General of Armament (DGA; Direction générale de l’armement) on May 17. Following the multiple verification procedures it has conducted since the beginning of April, the DGA was able to complete this acceptance. Twelve A330-MRTT Phénix will have been delivered to the Air and Space Force by the end of 2023. The extent of its capabilities allows it to replace several distinct older-generation aircraft: the C135-FR and KC135-RG for in-flight refueling, and the A310 and A340 for the strategic transport of personnel and freight.
In May 2013, Airbus made an offer for 12 to 14 A330 MRTTs to France. On 20 February 2014, the French Chief of Staff stated that 12 A330 MRTTs would be acquired in two batches, an initial standard configuration with a boom and wing refuelling pods and later with a cargo door and SATCOM. On 15 December 2015, France ordered eight A330 MRTTs, constituting the second tranche of a multi-year contract for A330 MRTTs Phénix, as it is known in French service, , worth €3 billion ($3.3 billion), signed by the French Ministry of Defence in November 2014. Initial deliveries were expected in 2018, with further handovers of one or two per year until 2025.
The Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is a European aerial refuelling and military transport aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330. It is designed as a dual-role air-to-air refuelling and transport aircraft. A total of 16 countries have placed firm orders for approximately 68 aircraft, of which 51 had been delivered by 30 November 2020. The A330 MRTT cabin can be modified to carry up to 380 passengers in a single-class configuration, allowing a complete range of configurations from maximised troop transport to complex customisation suitable for VIP and guest missions.
Available configurations include 300 passengers in a single class and 266 passengers in two classes. The A330 MRTT can also be configured to perform Medical Evacuation (Medevac) missions; up to 130 standard stretchers can be carried. The main deck cargo configuration allows carriage of standard commercial containers and pallets, military, ISO and NATO pallets (including seats) and containers, and military equipment and other large items which are loaded through a cargo door. Like the A330-200, the A330 MRTT includes two lower deck cargo compartments (forward and aft) and a bulk area capability.