The French Air Force has conducted six missions with an A330 MRTT ‘Phénix’ fitted with a ‘Morphée module’ for the transport of intensive care patients.
The abbreviation Morphée is the French name of the god of sleep, Morpheus, and stands for “Module de réanimation pour patient à haute élongation d’évacuation” or a module allowing the professional evacuation of intensive care patients in a military aircraft, say NATO in a press release.
Initially installed in C-135 cargo aircraft, the French Air Force centre for experimentation and the Medial Service integrated the Morphée module with the A330 Phénix planes for experimentation purposes.
The module enables the French Air Force to transport six to 12 seriously wounded patients over a distance of 10,000 km. The certification of the new strategic enabler on the A330 Phénix has now allowed the French Air Force to use it in the fight against the COVID-19.
“During one flight on March 18, the Phénix left the Istres Air Base and flew towards the Grand-Est region, most severely affected by the pandemic in France, to evacuate six patient in serious COVID-19 condition. During the 50-minute flight patients were taken care of by Air Force medical staff who were assisted in the handling by on-board cabin crew. Back at Istres the patients were relocated to military hospitals at Marseille and Toulon in less affected southern France.”
The A330 MRTT flights have been conducted within the framework of operation Résilience. This operation represents the French Armed Forces’ contribution to fighting COVID-19 in France, say NATO.