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Strength in partnership

We are a partnership of leaders bringing an unparalleled depth of expertise in aerospace and defence to the frontline.

AirTanker is a consortium made up of leading aerospace, defence specialists and investors. Under the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft contract is AirTanker Limited and AirTanker Services Limited. Let’s take a closer look…..

AirTanker Limited

AirTanker Limited is a joint venture with current shareholders; Airbus, Thales and Equitix Investmrnt Management Limited, and owns a fleet of 14 Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Known as the ‘Voyager’ when in RAF service, the fleet delivers air-to-air refuelling, air transport and aeromedical capabilities, along with ancillary services, to the UK Ministry of Defence. When not in RAF service, the aircraft are able to operate within the civil charter market.

AirTanker Services Limited

AirTanker Services Limited operates and maintains the full fleet of 14 aircraft, delivered through a partnership of key aviation and defence specialist shareholders; Airbus, Babcock, Rolls-Royce and Thales. Cobham Plc is also a prime sub–contractor in AirTanker’s operation, providing expert support for the Voyagers Air-to-Air Refuelling capabilities.

Scroll down to find out more about our existing Shareholders...


Airbus is a global leader in aerospace employing a workforce of more than 133,000 worldwide. The Group is the second largest Aerospace and Defence employer domestically and a major contributor to the UK economy.

See Airbus for more information.

Under the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) contract, AirTanker contracted Airbus to deliver 14 A330-200 aircraft through its business unit, Airbus Military, a world-leader in the development and manufacture of air-to-air refuelling aircraft.

This contract includes delivery of the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, known as Voyager in RAF service. It is the only new generation Multi Role Tanker Transport certified and flying today.

Voyager is based on the A330-200 which is built by Airbus in Toulouse. The aircraft is flown to Getafe, near Madrid, where it is converted into an A330 MRTT by Airbus Defence and Space. The UK has the largest fleet of Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft, with other nations such as Australia, Saudi Arabia and UAE also operating the type.


As Britain’s leading training and support services provider, Babcock delivers cutting-edge training and support solutions.

Along with our infrastructure, Babcock is responsible for providing all ground support equipment training to AirTanker and the Voyager programme. It also provides all ‘operational’ software training.

Babcock’s Defence and Security Division is a leading provider of infrastructure, equipment support and military training to all three Armed Services. Its Air programme includes the delivery of aircraft maintenance, aircraft line and base operations, equipment maintenance and airfield support services.

Babcock plays a key role in the Voyager programme through the delivery of AirTanker’s state-of-the-art operational Hub at RAF Brize Norton. This includes a purpose-built hangar, associated office and administrative buildings and training facilities.


Rolls-Royce is the second largest provider of defence aero-engine products and services globally. Rolls-Royce engines power aircraft in every major sector including: transport; combat; patrol; trainers; helicopters; and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Each RAF Voyager aircraft is powered by two Trent 700 engines which deliver the highest thrust available on the Airbus A330, resulting in increased operational flexibility. Rolls-Royce provides MissionCare® availability-based support for the propulsion system in service.

Rolls-Royce element provides programme management from its defence facility in Bristol, with additional personnel based at RAF Brize Norton. There is also access to real-time, proactive diagnostic support from the Rolls-Royce Operations Centre in Derby.

The Trent 700, the only engine specifically designed for the Airbus A330, is the largest selling Trent family member and the market leader on the Airbus A330. By operating these engines, the RAF gains the same benefits as many of today’s leading airlines from the new Trent technology, such as high levels of fuel efficiency and reliability.


Thales employs over 65,000 people worldwide, operating throughout 56 countries. A global leader in the aerospace sector, Thales deliver equipment, systems and services to both military and civil markets.

Thales expertise enhances the safety and operational efficiency of cockpit and cabin solutions, avionics and sensors, air traffic management and navigational aids, satellite communications. Thales provides a comprehensive training suite to support the Voyager programme.

As a primary sub-contractor, Thales UK supply mission simulators, defensive aids, avionics and mission planning systems. Thales is also responsible for an extensive range of services throughout the support phase of the Voyager programme. These include initial and through-life spares; obsolescence management and repairs; and the management and delivery of integrated training services for both air and ground crews covering air transport, extended twin engine operations (ETOPS) and air-to-air refuelling.

To support Voyager’s Air Transport capabilities, Thales provides market-leading in-flight entertainment services.


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