Voyager, previously known as the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft, will replace the air-to-air refuelling (AAR) capability of the RAF’s TriStars.
The first of 14 aircraft is already in RAF service undertaking Air Transport (AT) flying.
- Engines: 2
- Thrust: 72,100lbs each
- Max speed: 330kts
- Length: 58.82m
- Max altitude: 41,000ft
- Span: 60.3m
- Aircrew: 11
Voyager is based on the modern A330-200 passenger aircraft and will provide the RAF with a step change in reliability and capability in both the AAR and AT roles.
There are two types of Voyager: the KC2, with two under-wing pods and the KC3, a three-point tanker with an additional centre line hose for larger aircraft. The fuel necessary for refuelling operations, as well as for the aircraft itself, is carried within the existing tanks in the wings and fuselage. This arrangement leaves the cabin free for transporting up to 291 personnel and the cargo hold remains available for freight on either military or civil pallets.
Voyager will also have a flexible aeromedical configuration that includes the ability to carry up to 40 stretchers and three critical care patients.
The RAF will continue to retain responsibility for all military tasks. However, the contractor, Air Tanker Ltd, will own, manage and maintain the aircraft and provide infrastructure and support, training facilities and some personnel. In particular, Air Tanker will provide Sponsored Reserve pilots and engineers to support Number 10 Squadron, the first RAF Voyager Squadron to operate the aircraft. This unique arrangement allows the RAF to benefit from civil best practice whilst allowing Air Tanker to utilise excess capacity by operating some of the aircraft commercially when not required for RAF duty. Since its reformation on 1 July 2011, Number 10 Squadron has steadily grown and a second Voyager Squadron is to stand up in 2013.
Atlas is an extremely flexible aircraft that will provide both Tactical and Strategic Airlift Capability.