Lufthansa Technik Hands Over First A350 to Germany’s Special Air Mission Wing

Lufthansa Technik handed over the first of three new Airbus
A350-900s to the German Armed Forces. During a small ceremony in
Hamburg, conducted according to current pandemic rules, Minister of
Defence Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer took a first look at the future
flagship of the Federal Ministry of Defence’s (BMVg) Special Air
Mission Wing. On the way to the final operational readiness of the
aircraft, the military certification for the 10+03 designation and
various test flights with the new wide-body aircraft will take place
in the coming weeks. Lufthansa Technik says this is the world’s first government aircraft of this type and thus also the world’s first Airbus A350 not to be used in commercial airline service.
“The exemplary procurement process is really something to be proud
of,” said Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer. “The decision to purchase the
new A350 fleet was made just 1.5 years ago. My thanks therefore go to
all those involved in industry and German Armed Forces, because
everyone really pulled together here. With its 25 percent lower fuel
consumption – compared to older, comparable types – the ultra-modern
A350 is future-oriented, and with the new fleet we are securing
global mobility as an important part of the Federal Government’s
ability to work”, the Federal Minister continued. “And with the
addition of two more brand-new A350s, the mobility expected of an
industrial nation like Germany is adequately ensured.”
“Today we are proud to present to the Federal Minister of Defence the
new flagship of the Federal Government’s Special Air Mission Wing,
the world’s very first Airbus A350 as a government aircraft,” said
Dr. Johannes Bussmann, chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa
Technik AG. “The 10+03 and its two subsequent sister aircraft are a
continuation of the successful tradition of supplying the German
Armed Forces and having them as one of our best and most important
customers.”
The factory-fresh aircraft, which was still on the civil register as
D-AGAF, arrived at Lufthansa Technik at the beginning of May. It is
equipped with a special transitional cabin for
political-parliamentary flight operations. The cabin comes with
office and conference areas, adjoined by a multifunctional lounge
area. The remaining space is available for delegations flying on the
aircraft. After sister aircraft 10+01 and 10+02, which are currently
under construction, will receive a fully-fledged government cabin
from Lufthansa Technik next year, the transitional cabin in the 10+03
will also be exchanged.
The effects of the global coronavirus pandemic on the supply chain
slightly delayed the planned delivery of the 10+03 to the German
Armed Forces. It will now take place in the coming weeks, during
which the aircraft will receive its military certification and be
prepared for a smooth entry-into-service at the Federal Ministry of
Defence’s Special Air Mission Wing, complete with crew training and
various test flights.