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Customer background //

EXAIL Robotics, a reference in the simulation sector, and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) have signed a major contract for the supply of a Full Flight Simulator (FFS) to train the crews of the French Air Force’s E-3F Awacs (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft, dedicated to airspace protection.

This Full Flight Simulator (FFS), an identical replica of the future cockpit of the refurbished E-3F Awacs, will provide Air Force and Space Force crews with a modern flight simulator, perfectly adapted to their training needs and constraints.

The acquisition of this Full Flight Simulator (FFS) for the French Air Force is part of the contract awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) to refurbish the cockpit of the E-3F Awacs strategic aircraft.

DGA qualification of the simulator is scheduled for late 2025, in conjunction with the cockpit renovation project.

This complex, high value-added project led the experts at EXAIL Robotics to look for a project manager with experience in the military ecosystem, and to consult Apside. That’s how Gilles, an Apside employee recruited specifically for this project, came on board to design, develop, produce, test and qualify the new Full Flight Simulator (FFS).

Our team //

To meet the challenges of this mission, Apside positioned Gilles as project manager. Gilles’ profile is particularly relevant thanks to his experience.

After graduating, Gilles embarked on a career in the military, during which he served as an officer. Following this, Gilles retrained in the private sector, in industry, where he embarked on a second career as project manager in a company specializing in the production of simulators.

In addition, Gilles, who is currently building up his engineering team at EXAIL Robotics (around twenty people), was also able to introduce Apside Cyber experts to carry out a cybersecurity audit.


Our support //

As part of this mission, Apside’s objective was to support EXAIL Robotics in the creation of the new E-3F aircraft flight simulator, in particular through consulting and project management.

To achieve this, Gilles began by building and managing a team in which all the skills and professions required for the project were present in sufficient numbers. The second step was to precisely identify the customer’s needs: this involved a detailed study of the contractual documents and specifications. Finally, Gilles needs to plan all the activities and tasks (of all kinds) required to complete the assignment. His team is therefore constantly concerned with deadlines, quality and staying within budget.

On a day-to-day basis, Gilles is also a real focal point in this project: he is the direct contact between EXAIL Robotics management, Air France and the Direction Générale de l’Armement.

In terms of the technical environment, Gilles manages a substantial software activity: on the one hand, through the acquisition of software applications, and on the other, by piloting the development of new dedicated software solutions.

Project milestones: 

  • Scoping / preliminary design phase (8 months) (to be submitted to customer)
  • Detailed design phase (8-10 months) (to be submitted to customer)
  • Development / production phase (8 months)
  • Integration phase / unit testing / assembly & subassembly testing / simulator testing (6 months)
  • Customer acceptance and testing – qualification pronouncement (2 months)
  • Operational maintenance of the simulator

The results //

The project is just getting underway, and the EXAIL Robotics teams seem satisfied with the framework Gilles is currently putting in place. Apside is also delighted to be able to offer comprehensive support to this new partner, particularly in the form of cybersecurity services in addition to project management.

We look forward to seeing you in a few months’ time to report on the project’s progress!


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