January 8, 2020
Luxembourg could acquire a new A330 MRTT tanker aircraft.
The Luxembourg government tabled a bill at the end of December
to amend the law of 5 July 2016 on Luxembourg's participation in the European supply aircraft program.
Luxembourg had been the first country with the Netherlands to buy two A330 MRTT planes
under the program called MMF (Multinational Multi Role Tanker) in July 2016.
Luxembourg, which is in the midst of building an air force,
had right to 200 hours of flight per year
except that the government wants to increase this contribution to 1,200 hours
with the acquisition of a new A330 MRTT aircraft,
which would be registered in the Netherlands.
With this sharp increase and this new acquisition,
the Luxembourg government would agree to major military investment efforts
which would amount to 259 million euros between 2016 and 2025
with an average annual operating cost of around 11.3 million euros. euros.
The cumulative investment and operating costs are estimated at a total amount of 598.4 million euros over thirty years.
The financing would be via the Military Equipment Fund created by law of December 16, 1997
concerning military financial programming.
Luxembourg would thus contribute 12,121% of the total costs of the MRTT program.
In the last position in the ranking of NATO countries in Defense spending,
Luxembourg intends to increase its Defense effort in the long term,
while filling a key NATO capability gap in the field of air supply and strategic transport.
“In fact, by increasing this participation by 1,000 units per year,
the program would be able to seize one of the options and therefore gain considerably in operational and technical flexibility.
Luxembourg, for its part, would benefit from a markedly increased visibility
by strengthening a program bringing together the faculties
to concretely fill a strategic capacity gap recognized both in NATO and in the European Union, " explains the bill.
Part of the flight hours of this new aircraft would be made available to the other members of the program
in order to compensate for the lack of assignment of Luxembourg personnel.
The European fleet of A330 MRTT tanker aircraft would then include nine aircraft.
In February 2018, Belgium decided to integrate the program with the purchase of a device for an amount of 258 million euros for 1,000 flight hours per year.
Four other countries participate in the program:
Germany (5,500 flight hours), Netherlands (2,000 flight hours), Norway and the Czech Republic (100 flight hours).
Five of the eight A330 MRTTs will be stationed at the Eindhoven base.
The first two will arrive in the Netherlands in May 2020.
They will replace the 2 KDC-10s of the Luchtmacht.
The other three will be based in Cologne, Germany.