The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) received yesterday, March 3, at Galeão Air Base, the second unit of the KC-30 widebody aircraft based on the Airbus A330-200. The aircraft will be part of the 2nd/2nd GT (Corsair Squadron) and will be converted to REVO in the coming years to perform in-flight refueling missions.
The KC-30 with registration FAB 2902 had been in Victorville, Southern California, since mid-September, where it was inspected by the Brazilian Aeronautics Commission in Washington (CABW). This FAB organization is coordinating the purchase of the aircraft with Azul, the winning bidder.
The A330, now FAB 2902, was manufactured by Airbus in 2014, when it was delivered to Avianca in July of the same year, with registration N508AV. In 2017, it was transferred to Avianca Brasil, where it remained for about two years, with the Brazilian registration PR-OCK.
In 2019, the A330 returned to its owner, the Irish leasing company Avolon, receiving the registration VP-BDV. The aircraft was also once booked to the UK’s Titan Airways, but was not delivered.
FAB has acquired two A330s. While the 2902 has just arrived in the country, the 2901 (which flew briefly for Azul as PR-AIS) has been in operation with the Air Force since July. Its first operational mission was recently carried out with the transport of cargo and military personnel for an exercise in Chile.
The A330s were acquired with money rescued through Operation Lava Jato, to fill a gap left by the retirement of the Boeing KC-137s in 2013. The problem was even partially filled with the lease of a 767 between 2016 and 2019.
The Aeronautics Command plans to transform the two KC-30s into tanker aircraft, with the conversion to the MRTT standard to be contracted with Airbus as early as 2022. The aircraft are operated by the Corsair Squadron (2nd/2nd GT), based at Galeão Air Base (RJ).