Boeing-upgraded French AWACS take flight
Seattle, Wa. - Initial operating capability (IOC) of the modernized French Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleet has been achieved with Boeing’s delivery of the second of four upgraded aircraft and completion of the operational tests and evaluations. The upgrade is part of a Foreign Military Sale between the French Defense Procurement and Technology Agency (Direction générale de l'armement – DGA) and the U.S. government.
“With the declaration of IOC, the French Air Force is able to utilize the new capabilities of the Mid-life Upgrade to protect our national and international interests. This improvement will contribute to maintaining high operational performance and reinforce interoperability capability for at least the next twenty years,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier Duplessy, French Air Force AWACS Program Officer.
France has four AWACS to monitor national airspace, national interests, and support allied missions. The aircraft are receiving modifications through a Mid-life Upgrade (MLU) to increase the fleet’s surveillance, communications and battle management capabilities. AWACS crew members will experience reduced workload, receive more actionable information and have better situational awareness thanks to these enhancements.
“The exemplary teamwork between Boeing and Air France Industries was key in delivering the first two upgraded AWACS on schedule,” said Yves Galland, president Boeing France. “We’re looking forward to pursue our successful partnership with Air France Industries to deliver the last two aircraft on time and meet the French Air Force requirements on this strategic program.”
Boeing, as prime contractor, provides hardware, software, engineering and quality assurance support. Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, a Boeing subcontractor on the project, is upgrading the electrical, mechanical and structural systems and mission hardware on the aircraft.
The first MLU AWACS was delivered in July of 2014.