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Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) freight and (b) passenger capacity is of (i) the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft and (ii) each commercial air-to-air service provider. (280002)

The Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft was selected in competition and uses a fleet of modified Airbus A330 aircraft to achieve the technical and military capability requirements.

The freight capacity is 43 tonnes, or 136 cubic metres. The passenger capacity is 291.

There are no commercial air-to-air service providers with approval to operate on the UK civil or military aircraft registers with which to make a comparison.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the fuel off-load capacity is of (a) the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft and (b) each commercial air-to-air service provider. (280060)

The Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) is required to deliver a capability measured through operational analysis against war fighting scenarios. The capacity of the individual aircraft is therefore of secondary importance to its capability, and the fleet has been sized to meet the operational requirement. No direct comparison can be made with another aircraft. Additionally, there are no commercial air-to-air service providers with approval to operate on the UK civil or military aircraft registers.

The maximum fuel capacity is 111 tonnes. The fuel offload capacity is related to the radius of action, aircraft fuel consumption and the time on station at the refuelling location. For FSTA this fuel capacity relates to a standard sortie scenario of 500 miles radius of action, 140 minutes on station and a fuel offload of 60 tonnes to 20 different receiver aircraft.