First A321LR For German Air Force Rolls Out

The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has unveiled the first of two A321LRs destined for troop transport and medical evacuation. The two aircraft were ordered by Lufthansa Technik last year, on behalf of the Luftwaffe, and will be delivered to the Air Force in 2022.

Luftwaffe first A321LR
The first A321LR for the Luftwaffe has emerged from the paint shop. Photo: Bundeswehr

ACJ321LR rolls out of the paint shop

It’s been just over a year since Lufthansa Technic ordered a pair of A321LRs from Airbus Corporate Jets. These two aircraft are destined to be outfitted by Lufthansa Technik on behalf of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), and will be used in missions such as transporting of troops and medical evacuations.

This week, the Luftwaffe unveiled the first of these aircraft as it emerged fresh from the paint shop in Hamburg. The A321LR is painted in an all-grey livery with Luftwaffe titles and the temporary registration of D-AVXU. It will eventually be assigned the Air Force registration of 15+10.

Both A321s came from an order placed by Lufthansa for 40 A321neos. They were upgraded to the LR variant and the order taken over by Lufthansa Technik. They are set to replace the Airbus A310 ‘Kure Schumacher’, a 32-year-old aircraft carrying registration 10+23. This aircraft was decommissioned last week, and will now become a feature at a local zoo – the Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen, located 50 km (31 miles) from Hannover airport.

To Lufthansa Technik

The aircraft is planned to be delivered to Lufthansa Technik in mid-October, where it will receive its interior fit-out to prepare it for entry into service. The interior will have a combination of seats and patient transport units, with the capabilities to switch between layouts for specific missions.

AeroTELEGRAPH says that, in total, the A321LRs will be able to have an amazing 18 different interior configurations. These range from passenger transport of 136 to a maximum of 163 passengers, as well as a flying hospital for six critically ill patients or up to 12 moderately sick or injured individuals.

The aircraft will be capable of flying to the maximum range of 4,200nm/7,800km or 9.5 flight hours, according to Airbus. At the time of the order, Benoit Defforge, ACJ President, commented,

“We are thrilled Lufthansa Technik has become the launch customer for the ACJ long-range version of the world’s best-selling A321neo. The ACJ320 Family features the widest cabin of any single-aisle aircraft in the sky, providing the greatest passenger comfort and intercontinental range. Lufthansa Technik and the German Government have a long-standing relationship with Airbus and we are proud of this new milestone order with us.”

A long-standing relationship indeed. In fact, Lufthansa Technik has ordered a total of five Airbus aircraft on behalf of the German Government. As well as these two narrowbodies, the firm also ordered three ACJ350-900s for replacement VIP transport. Colloquially dubbed ‘Merkel One’, the first of these was delivered to Lufthansa Technik in May last year, entering into service with the German government in January 2021.