Boeing Teams Up with AFI KLM E&M for French AWACS Upgrade

Paris, Amstelveen, 7 January 2011 – Boeing Defense, Space & Security signed a modification contract with AFI KLM E&M to upgrade mission systems aboard the AWACS E3 Sentry aircraft operated by the French Air Force. Equipped with new, more sophisticated systems, the AWACS will be the world’s most modern aircraft when they emerge from the AFI KLM E&M hangars.

Two partners hand-in-hand. A Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) will involve fitting updated hardware and software to enhance the operational performance of the AWACS, a full-fledged flying control tower. As part of the contract with the French Air Force (“Armée de l’Air”), Boeing has selected Air France Industries to install the modification kits designed for the MLU. The work will begin in 2012 in the AFI facility at Le Bourget, outside Paris, and will end when the fourth and last aircraft has been refitted. A team from Boeing will be on-hand throughout the program to oversee operations. The two partners will work together to provide cutting-edge service for the French Air Force, as they did a decade ago when they modified the radar systems on the aircraft.

Satisfaction all round. The signing of the contract is the result of the mutual trust between Boeing and AFI KLM E&M, built on the close relationship fostered over many years. AFI KLM E&M has once again been able to demonstrate its ability to adapt to the needs of its customers by demonstrating its exacting standards and competitive approach. The French Ministry of Defense was also reassured by the agreement. By signing with AFI KLM E&M to carry out the MLU, Boeing has reduced the risk of fleet unavailability. As the incumbent for the contract to maintain these AWACS aircraft in a state of operational readiness, AFI KLM E&M will also use the down time to carry out heavy maintenance programs.

The world’s most advanced AWACS aircraft. “We are especially delighted with the trust shown by Boeing by selecting us to carry out these cutting-edge upgrades. The program illustrates and strengthens our positioning in the sphere of military aircraft fleet support”, said Franck Terner, President of AFI. Jake Howitt, Boeing’s Head of AWACS programs, added: “We have contracted with AFI KLM E&M to carry out this project because we are confident in the quality of their work. Their personnel have extensive experience and skills on these systems. Once the MLU is completed, the French AWACS fleet will be the world’s most advanced!”