The French Ministry of Defence has renewed a multi-year contract with Daher for the continued operational support of its TBM 700 fleet. The deal was awarded by the French military procurement agency’s SIMMAD maintenance organisation following an 18–month tender process. It covers the airframe, engine and propeller on all 27 of the military's high-speed, single-engined turboprops.

The aircraft are used by the French armed forces for VIP transportation and training. The inventory consists of 15 TBM 700As used by the French air force; five 700As and eight TBM 700Bs deployed by the French army aviation; and four 700As assigned to the French flight test centre.

“These TBM 700s were among the first military aircraft for which the French armed forces outsourced a maintenance contract,” says Daher. The initial contract was awarded to the Tarbes-based company in 2001, shortly after the creation of SIMMAD.

It was renewed in 2007 and again in 2011 when the aircraft were upgraded with the Garmin G1000 integrated flightdeck.

"We are proud to have been selected again for the third time in 15 years,” said Daher’s airplane business unit’s senior vice-president Nicolas Chabbert at the contract signing on 15 June. “We will ensure the operational readiness of the fleet and support [the French armed forces] in their missions.”

The agreement also includes continued airworthiness monitoring of the fleet – located at seven different air bases – along with logistics support for aircraft on detachment in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Source: Flight International