Lufthansa Technik has successfully handed over the first of three new Airbus A350-900 for the German Federal Ministry of Defence’s (BMVg) Special Air Mission Wing.

The milestone was celebrated during a small ceremony in Hamburg.

Before entering service, the new wide-body aircraft will undergo various test flights to receive the military certification for the 10+03 designation in the following weeks.

It is the world’s first Airbus A350 to be used as the government aircraft and not in commercial airline service.

Lufthansa Technik Executive Board chairman Dr Johannes Bussmann said: “Today, we are proud to present to the Federal Minister of Defence the new flagship of the Federal Government’s Special Air Mission Wing, the world’s very first Airbus A350, as a government aircraft.

“The 10+03 and its two subsequent sister aircraft are a continuation of the successful tradition of supplying the German Armed Forces and having them as one of our best and most important customers.”

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The aircraft arrived at Lufthansa Technik in May.

Airbus A350 is currently equipped with a transitional cabin that will be exchanged with a fully fledged government cabin from Lufthansa Technik in 2021.

Currently, the other two aircraft 10+01 and 10+02 are under construction.

Lufthansa Technik will provide the two aircraft with a government cabin next year, following which the transitional cabin in 10+03 will be exchanged.

The delivery of 10+03 to the German Armed Forces has been delayed due to the effect of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on the global supply chain.

It is expected to be delivered in the next few weeks.