Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft

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Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology

The Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft (German: Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge - Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr) or (German: Wehrtechnische Dienststelle 61 (WTD 61)) is one of several testing centres of the German Armed Forces. Its tasks are the testing and evaluating of military aircraft and aerial weapon systems. The centre is also responsible for certifications and inspections of modifications made on aircraft already in service with the German Armed Forces. The Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft is not integrated into the command structure of the military branches of the German Armed Forces but is a branch of Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw)) which is directly subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defence. Founded in 1957, the centre is based at Manching Air Base. The unit has a strength of about 650 personnel, 50 of which are members of the armed forces, the rest are civilian.

The responsibility of the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft is to ensure that only safe, effective and efficient weapon systems are introduced into service with the German Armed Forces and to evaluate if the systems tested fulfil the requirements expected. The centre also carries out trials on and evaluations of weapon systems which are not planned to become part of the German Armed Forces inventory. Notably, this happened after the German reunification in 1990, when a large variety of former East German aircraft from the National People's Army became available.

The specific tasks of Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft are defined as:

The Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft has a number of subdivisions. Each subdivision is assigned a specialist task. Within each subdivision there are further specialised departments.

As the earlier Erprobungsstelle Rechlin central military aviation test facility of the defunct Third Reich was well inside East German borders after 1945, following the foundation of the modern German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in November 1955, the need for a new institution to test military aircraft became apparent. On 1 October 1997 the Testing Centre for Military Aerial Equipment (Erprobungsstelle für militärisches Luftgerät) was founded, the predecessor of the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft. The centre was based at Oberpfaffenhofen Airfield. Initially, the tasks of this new centre were to create the structure and procedures for the testing centre. Once this was completed, the centre was operational and began the testing and evaluation procedure of aerial military equipment selected for possible procurement by the German Armed Forces. Parts of the testing centre were relocated to Manching Air Base in 1967. The fact that Manching Air Base was also used by Reconnaissance Wing 51 at that time, restricted the testing of new aircraft. Consequently in 1968, a new airfield was selected, Giebelstadt Airport, to house the units previously based at Manching Air Base. In 1969, all units of the testing centre were concentrated at Manching Air Base. In 1987, the centre was renamed Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Luftfahrzeuge - Musterprüfwesen für Luftfahrtgerät der Bundeswehr (Wehrtechnische Dienstelle 61 (WTD 61)).

This page was last edited on 26 June 2017, at 19:51.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundeswehr_Technical_and_Airworthiness_Center_for_Aircraft under CC BY-SA license.

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