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Airbus lauds benefits of digital upgrade for A330 MRTT fleet

The global aerospace company has committed to reducing maintenance costs and improving the availability of the A330 MRTT fleet through its digital services contract.

The global aerospace company has committed to reducing maintenance costs and improving the availability of the A330 MRTT fleet through its digital services contract.

Airbus recently signed a contract to provide a digital services focus for the maintenance of the Air Refueling Boom System (ARBS) on the Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) fleet.

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Airbus’ suite of digital services, SmartForce, is expected to reduce maintenance costs and improve fleet availability by enhancing the fault diagnosis and troubleshooting tasks for the ARBS of the tanker aircraft, based on data analytics applications.

The firm noted that the Central Data System would allow operators to draw on the flight data recorded by the Mission Recording System before providing information outputs about issues registered during the flight and recommended maintenance actions to resolve them.

The capability is expected to evolve to allow users to extend the ARBS analytics to entire aircraft level diagnostics.

The Central Data System is a joint development, with Airbus collaborating with Northrop Grumman — the Australian KC-30A Through Life Support (TLS) provider — in sharing data and defining the architecture of the system.

“Since the launch of SmartForce in 2018, Airbus is fully committed to support the digital initiatives of our customers. Working collaboratively with them, we have signed five agreements for the co-development of new services and technologies,” Stephan Miegel, head of military aircraft services at Airbus Defence and Space, said.

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“We are proud to see that military operators are increasingly joining us on our digital journey.”

According to Jake Adams, Northrop Grumman Australia KC-30A program manager, the introduction of the Central Data System has already increased availability of the ARBS.

“The recent agreement between Airbus and Northrop Grumman Australia ensures that the RAAF continues to benefit from this capability as well as providing the opportunity for ongoing collaboration and sharing of data and analytics to enhance the ARBS capability,” he said.

Group Captain Scott Parry, Officer Commanding Heavy Air Lift Systems Program Office, added, “The Central Data System delivers a significant capability benefit for the KC-30A aircraft and demonstrates the strong commitment within the KC-30A enterprise to innovation and improvement.” 

[Related: Airbus concludes co-operative FCAS pilot phase with start-up companies in Germany]

Airbus lauds benefits of digital upgrade for A330 MRTT fleet
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