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October 2018


Lufthansa Technik has handed over a converted 18-year old Airbus A321 to the German Armed Forces on schedule and within budget. In addition to military missions, the aircraft is also used for political/parliamentary purposes. Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, BAAINBw) awarded the contract with a total value of around €90 million to Lufthansa Technik following a public tender at the beginning of 2017. In addition to the purchase of the aircraft and its conversion, the contract also included the procurement of spare parts and logistical support to ensure operational readiness as well as the adaptation of the aircraft to the requirements of the Special Air Mission Wing of Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (Federal Ministry of Defence, BMVg).


In around 18 months of layover time, the Airbus was initially completely overhauled and received 180 modifications. In addition to the airframe, the landing gear and the APU were also overhauled. From a technical point of view, the aircraft is now in mint condition. A flyaway kit with selected spare parts and tools will make the A321 self-sufficient for flights to remote regions. The aircraft was equipped with a VIP cabin and additional systems, such as antennae for extended communication options. Two additional fuel tanks and a further water tank extend the range to about 5,000km.


The aircraft can carry up to 84 passengers, 14 in the VIP area and 70 in the delegation area. For this purpose, the take-off weight was increased by 3.6 tonnes. In addition, the Airbus received the corresponding paintwork of the medium and long-haul fleet of the Special Air Mission Wing of the BMVg.


The aircraft cabin is closely based on the design of the BMVg's Airbus A319 and A340, which are already in operation. Therefore, a similar layout as well as the same materials and surfaces were used. It is divided into different areas for government members and their staff, as well as for accompanying delegations. It can seat up to 84 passengers, with 14 in the VIP area and 70 in the delegation area. The cabin is also designed in such a way that part of the delegation area can be converted into a flying ambulance station with intensive medical care facilities, as well as additional oxygen and separate power supplies provided by two Patient Transfer Units from Lufthansa Technik.

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