Lufthansa Technik hands over first A340 to the German Federal Ministry of Defense
Lufthansa Technik formally handed over the first Airbus A340 for the BMVg’s Special Air Mission Wing (FlBschft BMVg) on Wednesday.
Over a period of about 21 months the aircraft had undergone a full overhaul, had been fitted with a VIP cabin and supplementary military equipment and its exterior had been repainted. An intensive demonstration and test program has been carried out by the German Armed Forces Test and Evaluation Centre (WTD 61) since the beginning of 2011 to prepare the aircraft for government service.
The Airbus A340 is the first of two long-range aircraft of this type to have been delivered under the program to upgrade the medium- and long haul fleets of the BMVg’s Special Air Mission Wing. Both aircraft had been acquired from Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Two new Airbus A319CJ’s fitted with VIP cabins had already been handed over to the Bundeswehr by Lufthansa Technik in March and May 2010. The second Airbus A340-300 is due to be delivered in the summer of 2011.
The new aircraft cabin is divided into several zones: a conference area with 12 seats, a private area with 15 seats and a delegation area in which 116 people can sit and also travel long distances in comfort thanks to the generous seat pitch. In this way the aircraft has a total of 143 passenger seats plus a further 19 crew positions.
A number of additional measures were implemented during the conversion work to meet the Luftwaffe’s special requirements. For medevac operations, the delegation area can be converted to a flying intensive care unit complete with facilities such as extra oxygen and a separate power supply, allowing up to four wounded people, accident victims or sick passengers to be transported. A secure communication and information system, comprising wireless LAN, telephony, fax and internet / e-mail connection, has also been installed.
On top of this, Lufthansa Technik has been contracted to supply technical logistics services for the new medium- and long-haul fleet. In addition to the two Airbus A319’s and the two A340’s this will include four Bombardier Global 5000’s due to be delivered to the Special Air Mission Wing by Lufthansa Technik in the second half of 2011.