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3 countries eye pooled acquisition, operation of airlifters
by Richard Tomkins
Brussels (UPI) Dec 19, 2014

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Three member countries of the European Defense Agency are preparing to negotiate with Airbus Defense and Space for pooled acquisition of transport aircraft.

The Netherlands, Poland and Norway are looking at 2019 for attaining initial operating capability of the A330 MRTT transport and air-to-air refueling aircraft they wish to procure.

"This initiative, facilitated by the European Defense Agency, consists of the pooled acquisition and operation of a common fleet of aircraft by the three nations," the agency said. "Other nations will also be able to contribute to the overall program through joining the acquisition phase and/or in-service phase."

The three countries have created a NATO Support Agency partnership for the aircraft and tasked the Organization Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'ARmement, or OCCAR, to prepare negotiations with Airbus Defense and Space.

The start of negotiations, however, "does not constitute a commitment" to buy the aircraft, EDA said.

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