Wednesday, April 14, 2021

German Air Force phases out aging Airbus A310 MRT aircraft

The German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, has started the process of decommissioning its special convertible version of the Airbus A310 plane, called the A310 MRTT.

“The 10 + 27 is the first to be dismantled at Deutsche Lufthansa Technik,” the Official Twitter presence of the Air Force said in a post Monday. “In the coming days, hazardous substances, special materials and liquids will be removed.”

A310 MRT aircraft is a military air to air refuelling, or in-flight refuelling tanker transport aircraft, capable of operating multi-role missions. The A310 MRTT tanker aircraft is a subsequent development from the earlier Airbus A310 MRT Multi-Role Transport, which was a military transport aircraft for passengers, cargo, and medical evacuation.

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The German air force successively used seven Airbus A310-300s, four of which were transformed into in-flight refuellers with nacelles under the wing. Purchased second-hand on the commercial market, three from Interflug and the other four from Lufthansa, these planes entered service between 1991 and 1998 before being gradually transformed into in-flight refueling for four of them.

The two older ones have already been sold a few years ago. On January 20, 2020, the first of the five remaining planes, an MRTT dubbed August Euler, reached the Hamburg airfield to be stored and dismantled. The other four are expected to follow by the end of the year, with the Luftwaffe now relying on the multinational NATO fleet which eight A330 MRTTs.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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