19:37 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Germany Resolves Its Latest Military Aviation Glitch as It Airlifts Troops to Lithuania

    CC BY-SA 2.0 / Anna Zvereva / Luftwaffe (German Air Force), 10+24, Airbus A310-300
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    The past few years have seen a spate of German military aviation mishaps; the latest such incident took place last Saturday when a Bundeswehr transport wing kept an Airbus A310 at its base near Cologne due to a suspected engine malfunction.

    Germany's Bundeswehr airlifted its tank battalion troops from Leipzig to Kaunas in Lithuania for joint drills on Sunday, in a sign that the German Armed Forces have successfully resolved another aviation glitch, according to Deutsche Welle.

    The departure of German troops for Lithuania came one day later than expected due to what the Bundeswehr’s transport wing Flugbereitschaft described as engine failure, which prompted the unit to keep an Airbus A310 plane at its base near Cologne.

    This was the latest in a series of German military aviation mishaps that have taken place over the past several years.

    Incidents With Merkel's Plane

    What was considered to be one of the country's most embarrassing incidents occurred in November 2018, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel's plane, an Airbus А340 dubbed the “Konrad Adenauer”, lost all communications with the ground as it was flying over Netherlands en route to the G20 summit in Argentina.

    The plane was forced to return to Cologne and Merkel had to switch to a commercial airliner to attend the Buenos Aires summit.

    In June 2018, hydraulics system defects on board the same plane forced German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to take an alternative aircraft to the Belarusian capital Minsk. The Konrad Adenauer’s technical glitches also prodded Merkel and five ministers to fly India on an A310 military troop transporter in 2015.

    In a separate incident in 2017, then-German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen was forced to return home from Lithuania on a mothballed Transall C-160 transport plane after an Airbus A400M was grounded due to an engine defect.

    The incident took place as Von der Leyen was flying to Lithuania on board the A400M to show off the new transport aircraft.

    On the whole, the German Armed Forces have long been plagued by underfunding, which in turn has led to a series of equipment failures grounding fighter jets and keeping tanks out of service.


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