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04 Sep 20. Yak-40 bows out in Czech Republic. The Czech Air Force on 2 September officially took its last remaining Yak-40 aircraft out of service, with a final flight and decommissioning ceremony at the 24th Transport Air Force Base at Prague-Kbely. The former Czechoslovakia was one of the largest export customers for the three-engine transport aircraft, accounting for 25 out of the 130 aircraft delivered to 18 countries. A pair of Yak-40s were transferred to the air force in the early 1980s; these were used for training aircrew and ground personnel in the 3rd Transport Air Regiment. In June 2019, the Czech defence ministry announced it was buying two additional C-295 aircraft to replace the Yak-40 for transport functions. (Source: Shephard)

03 Sep 20. France Orders Three A330 Aircraft As Part of the Aerospace Industry Support Plan. Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the order by the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) on August 25, 2020 of three Airbus A330 aircraft as part of the government plan to support the aeronautical industry announced on June 9. The contract is worth 200m euros. The first two aircraft will be delivered at the end of 2020, and the third in 2022.

These three A330s will be eventually be converted into Phoenix MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) military aircraft. They will then complement the 12 MRTTs expected to be in service by 2023, bringing the Air Force’s MRTT fleet to 15 aircraft, in accordance with the final objective fixed by the multiyear Military Planning Law (LPM).

This order will make it possible to advance the withdrawal from service of the Air Force’s two A340s and two A310s, and will ultimately simplify the management of the strategic military aircraft fleet which will be entirely composed of MRTT Phénix.

The advance order for these three A330 aircraft is a concrete and immediate measure of the support of the Ministry of the Armed Forces for the aeronautical industry sector. The total amount of orders that will be placed by the DGA as part of the support of the Ministry of the Armed Forces to the aeronautics industry (advance orders for planes, helicopters and drones) will amount to 600m euros, with another 230m euros for the acquisition of helicopters for the benefit of the Civil Protection service and the Gendarmerie Nationale police.

The DGA, in addition to its role of technical authority for state-owned aircraft, conducts aircraft acquisition and modernization projects for the benefit of the Ministry of the Interior. In this context, it applies its proven program management methodology to military programs, with the development of a detailed technical specification and an acquisition strategy in close collaboration with users, negotiation and market monitoring with the manufacturer, and finally the qualification (verification that technical specifications are met) and the acceptance of the aircraft (verification of contractual conformity). (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/ French Armed Forces Ministry)

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