France Gets First of Three Upgraded KC-135 Aircraft

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:23 PM, August 27, 2014
  • 3087

The French Air Force took delivery of the first of three upgraded KC-135s last week, according to an official statement.

The upgrade of the KC-135RGs operated by the Escadron de Ravitaillement en Vol (In-flight refueling squadron, ERV) primarily concerns avionics, through the RENO GATM (Global Air Traffic Management) standard. This new interface allows navigation standards identical to those of American KC-135s, and more efficient and secure integration into general air traffic. 

While preserving the on-board intercom specific to the French aircraft, the KC-135RG is also fitted with a high-frequency wire antenna and is re-configured to carry standard cargo pallets. 

Technical experts from the air force’s in-flight refueling and strategic transport program team, as well as from the future 31st In-Flight Refueling and Strategic Transport Wing, will support the defense procurement agency, DGA, in ensuring flight-testing and certification of the upgraded aircraft. 

Beginning in the fourth quarter of this year, the air force will undertake a series of test and evaluation flights of the new aircraft to establish specific operating and maintenance procedures. 

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