French Air Force Procures E-3F Aircraft Simulator

The French Air Force has bought a full flight simulator for its E-3F airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.

The agreement — signed by Exail and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) — supports the country’s efforts to provide the air force with a convenient way to practice and train AWACS capability with a modern domestic flight simulator.

The platform features an identical setup to the E-3F cockpit to prepare AWACS pilots for realistic scenarios.

Furthermore, the simulator can be configured according to future aircrew requirements.

Modernizing the French E-3F Cockpit

According to Exail, the contract builds on an existing project with AFI KLM E&M to revamp cockpits for the French E-3F AWACS fleet.

Exail E-3F full flight simulator
Exail E-3F full flight simulator. Photo: ECA Group

“The AFI KLM E&M teams have been looking after AWACS for over 30 years and have developed a passion for this work, without ever losing sight of the operational challenges faced by an aircraft of this type,” AFI KLM E&M Executive Vice President Anne Brachet explained.

“The cockpit renovation is a strategic goal for our customer, and along with Exail we’re putting our expertise to work for the pilots of the French Air and Space Force, from training through to operations.”

A ‘Cutting-Edge Simulator’

Once delivered, the flight simulator will be evaluated according to French defense procurement agency (DGA) standards.

Platform certification is expected to occur simultaneously with the completion of the E-3F cockpit upgrade in late 2025.

“We’d like to thank the DGA and AFI KLM E&M for choosing our unique expertise and experience, developed over more than twenty-five years in the field of flight simulation,” Exail CEO Dominique Giannoni stated.

“Landing this contract guarantees sustained activity for the Exail teams in Lannion over the coming three years, and we’re proud to be supporting the French Air and Space Force with this new, cutting-edge simulator.”

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