French Air Force to modernize its CASA CN-235 fleet



The French Air and Space Force’s CASA CN-235-200 and CN-235-300 transport aircrafts will be upgraded with modern avionics so that they can continue to operate until 2040.

On December 20, 2022, France’s Directorate General of Armament (DGA) notified joint contractors Sabena Technics Bod and Thales Avs France SAS of the award of a contract, valued at €107 million, for the cockpit refurbishment of the CN-235-200 and CN-235-300 aircraft of the Air and Space Force. The oldest of these aircraft dates back to 1992, but with the work to replace its current avionics with modern, digital avionics, the life of the CASA CN-235 fleet is expected to be extended to 2040.

The aim of the refurbishment is to bring the aircraft up to new international air navigation standards so that they can continue to operate in civil air traffic, increasing navigation accuracy and replacing obsolete equipment. The upgrade will also improve navigation performance in tactical missions.

The framework agreement includes the development, qualification and certification of the CN-235 avionics modification and the delivery of a prototype for each of the two versions of the aircraft before the end of 2026, one corresponding to the CN-235-200 version and the other to the CN-235-300 version. Modernization of the 27 aircraft in the fleet will take place between 2026 and 2031.

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See also: Dassault resumes Rafale deliveries to France after four-year hiatus

The CN-235s are medium-sized tactical aircraft with a payload of 5 tons or 40 passengers. The fleet, divided into 19 aircraft of the -200 model and 8 of the -300 model, operate in France, in its overseas territories and in operations abroad for various missions:

  • community support, search and rescue, medical and sanitary evacuations,
  • logistic transport with short runway landing capability,
  • troop and cargo drop missions.
Gastón Dubois
Gastón Dubois
Editor en jefe en Aviacionline Defensa. Editor-in-Chief Aviacionline Defense. Feliz de poder darle letra a esta pasión y compartirla con Uds. Contacto:


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