The German Armed Forces will receive two Airbus A321-200NX aircraft which can be configured to transport up to 163 passengers or be equipped for medical operations. For the latter, up to six intensive care patients or up to twelve moderately ill persons can be carried, while mixed configurations can also be set up. Experience in recent years, particularly during the COVID19 pandemic, has shown the need for unrestricted national access to these capacities.
On 8th July 2020, the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) and Lufthansa Technik AG (LHT) signed a contract to equip the two aircraft. The financial resources for this were approved in the context of the adoption of the second supplementary budget 2020 on 3rd July 2020.
The two aircraft will be transferred to LHT in Hamburg as so-called “Green Aircraft” in August and October 2020 respectively so LHT can prepare them for various missions. To this end, the aircraft will be modified, the cabin equipment will be supplemented, the MedEvac components will be installed and military components will be fitted. With the appropriate installations, the aircraft can be used in 18 different interior configurations. LHT is supplying 14 patient transport units (PTUs), of which up to six can be equipped in one aircraft. Two PTUs serve as reserve.
The A321-200NX is a further development of the proven A321 series with particularly efficient engines and winglets that reduce fuel consumption by about one-fifth and enable a range increase to 7,400 km. The Bundeswehr will receive future-proof, modern passenger aircraft that can be deployed in various highly flexible cabin configurations on short, medium and long-range flights. The two aircraft will be operated by the Federal Ministry of Defence’s Flugbereitschaft, using synergy effects with the Airbus A320 Family models already introduced. According to the schedule, the aircraft will be handed over to the Bundeswehr in 2022 after completion of the conversion and retrofit work.