Four of France's E3-F AWACs planes are to be upgraded. / Ministère de la Défense
Mid-life upgrades have been completed for the first of four E3-F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft for the French Air Force.
Boeing and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance upgraded the aircraft's electrical, mechanical and structural systems as well as mission hardware. The contract is based on the Block 40/45 upgrade for the U.S. AWACS fleet. The upgrade is the largest ever for French AWACS and “will provide the fleet a robust picture of the battlespace and more actionable information while reducing aircrew workload," according to a Boeing news release.
The first modified aircraft will now undergo ground and flight tests at Avord Air Base before being delivered to the French Air Force later this year. The first aircraft was upgraded at the AFI KLM E&M site at Le Bourget Airport, while work on the other three will be at a new facility owned by AFI KLM E&M at Charles De Gaulle Airport.