French Presidency has announced that it will order three planes: two Falcons 7x and one A330-200.
The purchase of these 3 planes has been revealed by La Dépêche du Midi on Wednesday and confirmed in the evening by the French presidency. According to this newspaper, the A330 will be refurbished and reequipped by Sabena Technics based in Merignac, near Bordeaux.
The two Falcon 7x [...] will replace two Falcons 900 and four Falcons 50 used by the Government. Some are 20 years old.
According Jean-Dominique Merchet, defense specialist of newspaper Libération, the second hand A330-200 would be purchased from Air Caraibes (registration F-OPTP).
The current presidential plane, an A319CJ bought in 2002, needed to do stopovers on long-haul flights.
[...] Sabena did not say much on what will be implemented on the plane, but we can guess that it will be equipped with secured means of communication, a bedroom, a bathroom (as it is the case on the A319) as well security systems like anti-missile devices.
The total amount has not been revealed, but some specialists say it would cost between 100 and 300 million euros, all paid by the Ministry of Defense
This would be the next French presidential plane:
Photo © Stefan Sjogren - Stockholm Arlanda Photography
[Edited 2008-09-18 07:44:03]