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ILA 2022: Luftwaffe retires final A310 tanker-transport aircraft

The Luftwaffe retired the last of its A310 MRTT aircraft the week prior to the ILA Berlin Air Show. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The Luftwaffe has retired its Airbus A310 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, with the final example being withdrawn from service ahead of ILA Berlin Air Show.

The Bundeswehr announced the milestone on 15 June, noting that aircraft 10+25 ‘Hermann Kohl' has ceased operations after nearly 35 years.

“The air force recently had five Airbus [A]310-304 aircraft at its disposal, four of which were designated as MRTT, also in the medical evacuation (medevac) role for the Strategic Patient Air Transport core capability. An extension of the service life of four of these aircraft from the 1980s and 1990s beyond 2021 was not pursued, with the shift of tasks to the new A330 in the multinational MRTT unit in Eindhoven for cost reasons,” the Bundeswehr said.

This final A310 had its service life temporarily extended following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, although a further extension beyond June was not possible as the airframe required depot maintenance that would last several months.

Aircraft 10+25 was located at Cologne, from where it flew personnel and cargo transport, aerial refuelling, and medevac missions, including transporting more than 300 wounded Ukrainian personnel, from Poland for treatment in Germany.

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