EADS Wins EUR 175M Contract for French Air Force Training Support
The French Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded EADS a ten-year, multi-services contract to manage and support initial training for future military aircrews of the French Air Force’s Flying School at Cognac. Cognac is Cognac where future French Air force, Naval Aviation and Army aircrews obtain their basic training. The project constitutes the first comprehensive outsourced service solution initiated by the French Armed Forces, and follows a competitive procurement process lasting eighteen months.
Remuneration to EADS will be based on the flight hours flown, with a minimum of 15,000 flying hours per year. Flexibility and the potential for further training could push the contract as high as 32,000 flying hours, and the contract’s maximum value is EUR 175 million ($217.5 million at current conversion). EADS Socata and EADS Military Air Systems will take the lead during contract performance, which includes the procurement of new aircraft, plus line and base aircraft maintenance for the entire fleet. Other services will include flight simulators, integrated logistic support with supply-chain management, infrastructure handling, future staff recruitment, and the transfer of existing technical functions carried out by the French MoD.
Another thing that will change is the aircraft mix. The Socata TB 30 Epsilon initial trainers have been the Armee de l’Air’s primary trainers to date, but the French military’s selection of EADS’ “Option B’ proposal means that future flight training will use 24 of the existing TB 30 Epsilon fleet, plus 18 new Grob Aerospace 120A aircraft. The Grobs are popular trainers, and DID has also noted their use by the Canadian military’s international Canada Wings Aviation Training Centre.