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The Bundeswehr receives two Airbus A321-200NXs for the transport of up to 163 passengers. Alternatively, the cabin can be equipped for the transport of up to six intensive care patients or up to twelve mildly or moderately severely ill or injured. Mixed configurations can also be installed. Experience in recent years, particularly recent experience with the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, has shown that full national access to these capacities is necessary.

The Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) and Lufthansa Technik AG (LHT) signed a contract on July 8, 2020 for the equipment of the two planes. The funds for this were approved as part of the adoption of the second supplementary 2020 budget on July 3, 2020.

The two planes will be transferred to Hamburg for LHT in August and October 2020 as so-called “Green Aircraft”. Lufthansa Technik prepares the aircraft for various missions such as troop transport and the MedEvac role. For this purpose, the aircraft will be modified, the cabin equipment added, the MedEvac components installed and military components fitted. With the appropriate installations, the aircraft can be used in 18 different interior configurations.

Photo: Lufthansa Technik AG

LHT supplies 14 patient transport units (PTU), of which up to six can be fitted into an aircraft. Two PTU serve as a reserve.

The A321-200NX is the further development of the A321 series with a particularly efficient engine and winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by around a fifth and allow the range to be increased to 7,400 km. The two planes are operated by the Federal Ministry of Defense, and synergy effects are used with the models of the Airbus A320 family that have already been introduced.

According to the schedule, the aircraft will be handed over to the Bundeswehr in 2022 after the conversion and scaffolding work has been completed.

Gerhard Heiming