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German Air Force receives second A321 long range troop transport

German Air Force A321LR
Photo: Lufthansa Technik AG

The German defense procurement agency BAAINBw has taken delivery of the second Airbus A321LR (long range) transport aircraft from Lufthansa Technik AG in a ceremony in Hamburg.

The aircraft with the tactical identification 15+11 will soon be transferred to the German Air Force for troop transport and parliamentary flight operations.

Additional capabilities, such as applications for the medical transport and evacuation tasks (MedEvac), are planned for integration in 2023.

“Within just under two years, we managed to procure and equip two A321-251NX (A321LR) aircraft from the factory – despite the difficult conditions caused by the corona pandemic. With today’s handover of the second aircraft, we are further increasing operational readiness of the Air Force,” explains the responsible project manager in the BAAINBw.

The two aircraft will be operated by the Executive Transport Wing of the German defense ministry, which operates as part of the air force. Airbus delivered the “base” aircraft under a contract from 2020, while Lufthansa Technik was responsible for the militarization and modification process.

Together with the staff of Defense Technical Service 61 and the Air Force, the interdisciplinary project team also carried out an intensive test and acceptance program on the ground and in the air for the A321LR.

The cockpit and the newly installed cabin equipment with seats, emergency equipment and MedEvac preparations have been adapted to the requirements of the German armed forces. Up to 136 people can be transported in the aircraft. Once they receive the MedEvac kits, the aircraft will be able to transport wounded, injured or sick people and up to six intensive care patients.

In the MedEvac role, the A321LR duo is replacing the German Air Force’s fleet of A310-304s, the final of which was retired in June this year.