The first of two Royal Canadian Air Force CC-330 Strategic Transport aircraft has received its officially livery and will be flying home this summer.
The Canadian defense ministry shared first images of the aircraft as it was prepared to fly back to Switzerland from France before heading to Canada.
CC-330 is the designation for two former commercial Airbus A-330 aircraft which will be replacing the CC-150 Polaris as the “Strategic Tanker Transport Capability” (STTC).
This new fleet will conduct multiple tasks, such as in-flight refueling of other aircraft, military personnel and cargo airlift, medical evacuations, and strategic transport of Government of Canada officials.
The airframes are being provided by International AirFinance Corporation under a $102M USD contract from last year. The air force is looking to buying six A-330 airframes in total but the purchase of the other four units is yet to be confirmed by the government.
According to available information, plans are in place for at least one of the aircraft to have a VIP cabin for the Canadian Prime Minister. This conversion is to be undertaken at a later point in time.
Currently, these first two aircraft, originally manufactured in 2015, will retain their commercial cabin configuration for an interim period to perform cargo, troop and passenger airlift operations, according to an earlier statement from the defense ministry.
This new aircraft will improve the flexibility, responsiveness, interoperability with allied nations, communications security, and self-protection of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s current fleet.