AFI KLM E&M to Upgrade French Air Force E-3Fs

The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded AFI KLM E&M a single contract covering Maintenance in Operational Condition (MCO) and cockpit renovation for the four-aircraft AWACS fleet of the French Air Force.

This includes the maintenance of the fleet’s aiframe, component and engines. While operational support is still under the responsibility of the French Air Force, AFI KLM E&M will provide in-hangar industrial maintenance, engine engineering, and the end-to-end supply chain, including inventory management and the maintenance of the AWACS-specific information system which guarantees data exchange confidentiality. The MCO part of the contract will be supervised by the SIMMAD (a special MCO unit for France’s defense aviation equipment).

A key part of this contract is an AWACS cockpit upgrade. Commissioned in the early 1990s, the aircraft will undergo a complete refurbishment of its avionics, including the redesign of its autopilot and intertial navigation system. AFI KLM E&M has selected Boeing Defense, Space & Security as a major partner in this contract. Boeing has already carried out a similar upgrade for both the US Air Force and NATO. Under the present partnership, AFI KLM E&M will provide project management for the upgrade while Boeing will be responsible for the certification, as it is already qualified for this type certificate.