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France seeks support solutions for heavily utilised CN235 fleet

7th October 2021 - 16:00 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy in Paris

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A CN235 at Gao, Mali, deployed in support of Operation Barkhane. (Photo: author)

French Air Force issues MRO RfP for CN235 transports as high utilisation and harsh operating environments impact expected airframe service life.

France's directorate for air maintenance (DMAe) has opened an RfP for the support of the French Air Force fleet of CASA CN235 tactical transports. Sabena Technics is currently managing the contract which covers specific support.

The in-service fleet comprises 19 CN235-200s ordered in 1991 (one was lost in an accident in 2003) and eight CN235-300s ordered in 2010 (after the first A400M programme delays). Fifteen are based overseas, with the remainder at Evreux in Normandy. 

Three are used in Niger and Mali as medevac (two) and light transport (one) aircraft in support of Operation Barkhane, five in the Pacific (spread between

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