Boeing subcontractor Air France Industries has begun upgrading the electrical, mechanical and structural systems and mission hardware of the first of four French E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft. The $354-million Mid Life Upgrade, the largest ever for French AWACS, will provide the fleet a fuller picture of the battle space and more actionable information while reducing aircrew workload.
Boeing is providing on-site engineering and quality assurance support, software and hardware.
Work on the first E-3F AWACS aircraft at AFI's facility near Paris is scheduled to be completed in 2014 with the rest of the fleet completed by 2016.
“Air France Industries is uniquely positioned to help us provide this capability because of its substantial technical and manufacturing capabilities and over 20 years of experience with the E-3F fleet,” said Steve Swanz, French AWACS program manager for Boeing. “We are also benefiting from the strong cooperation of our U.S. and French government customers.”
The MLU upgrade, based on the U.S. AWACS Block 40/45 system, dramatically increases mission execution capability, reliability and effectiveness; and reduces life-cycle costs.