Boeing delivers modernized AWACS plane to France

French Air Force AWACS plane returns home after major upgrade.
By Richard Tomkins  |  July 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM
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SEATTLE, July 23 (UPI) -- The French Air Force has received the first of four airborne warning and control system aircraft from Boeing following a mid-life upgrade, the company reports.

The upgrade was the largest set of modifications ever performed on AWACS aircraft for France.

"The focus, commitment and hard work among Boeing, Air France Industries and French and U.S. government teams were key in achieving this milestone on schedule," said Steve Swanz, French AWACS program manager for Boeing.

Boeing said that as prime contractor for the modernization, it provided hardware, software, engineering and quality-assurance support. Electrical, mechanical and structural systems and mission hardware on the aircraft was upgraded by Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, a Boeing subcontractor on the project.

Boeing said delivery of the aircraft last week followed ground and flight tests at Avord Air Force Base and qualification by France's Direction Générale de l'Armement.

Remaining AWACS aircraft being modernized will be delivered before the end of 2016. "The French Mid-Life Upgrade program is a model for enhancing intelligence and surveillance capability within the armed forces," said Yves Galland, president of Boeing France. "This program also demonstrates Boeing's enduring commitment in providing the French Air Force with a superior air battle management capability."

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