|Company||AFI KLM E&M|
In addition to maintenance in operational conditions, the call involved a major avionics upgrade to be carried out in partnership with Boeing.
AFI KLM E&M was awarded the tender by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) for a single contract covering Maintenance in Operational Condition (MCO) and cockpit renovation for the four-aircraft AWACS fleet of the French Air Force. MCO 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 data confidentiality. The MCO part of the contract will be supervised by the SIMMAD (a special MCO unit for France’s defense aviation equipment).
A major avionics upgrade
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.
To ensure this work is carried out under optimum conditions, 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.
This is not the first joint operation by AFI KLM E&M and Boeing Defense, Space & Security on an AWACS product. In recent years, AFI KLM E&M has worked with the U.S. company on a major Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) operation in a contract with the US Air Force.
Ensuring maximum availability
Commenting on the DGA’s choice, Anne Brachet, Executive Vice President AIR FRANCE KLM Engineering & Maintenance, said: “We are very proud to have won this contract and we are deeply committed to providing the best possible service to the DGA and to our final customer, the French Air Force, which has been a long-time partner. We will use all our MCO skills to ensure full fleet availability for our customer.”