The French government has ordered seven Dasasult Aviation Albatros maritime patrol aircraft, to be delivered from 2025. The “Albatros” Maritime Surveillance and Intervention Aircraft (AVSIMAR) programme, which will be based on the Dassault Aviation Falcon 2000LXS medium-size long range business jet.
“The first Falcon 2000LXS aircraft will be manufactured in France while the remainder will be produced in India as part of the offset arrangements related to the 2016 Rafale contract. The conversion of the 12 Falcon 2000LXS aircraft into the Albatros configuration will all be carried out in France,” the company said.
The upcoming notification for the contract was announced by French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly during a visit to the Dassault Aviation plant in Seclin, in northern France, Nov 19.
In accordance with the multiyear military spending bill (LPM), the initial order is for seven aircraft, to be delivered from 2025, out of the planned total of 12. Dassault Aviation and the dozens of French companies associated with the Falcon programmes would like to thank the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, the French defense procurement agency (DGA) and the French Navy for their confidence, Dassault Aviation said.
The twin-engine Falcon 2000 Albatros will feature a multifunction radar under the fuselage, a high performance optronic turret, observation windows, a SAR (Search & Rescue) kit release system and dedicated communication systems.
In line with the aeronautical maintenance transformation policy initiated by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, the Albatros contract commits Dassault Aviation to a guaranteed availability clause, favoring industrial support in close cooperation with Navy personnel for 10 years.
“The Falcon 2000 Albatros is a high-performance aircraft equipped with a mission system and sensors of the latest generation. From the Falcon 20 of the US Coast Guard to the Falcon 2000MSA of the Japanese Coast Guard, as well as the Falcon 200 Gardian and 50M of the French Navy, we have extensive experience in maritime surveillance, in addition to our long experience in maritime patrol with the Atlantique”, said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
“Several countries have shown interest in these aircraft, which provide an effective response to the considerable challenges of homeland protection and maritime security and government action at sea: fighting pollution and trafficking, surveillance of borders and exclusion zones, fisheries policing, search and rescue at sea, etc. It is only fitting that France, which has the world’s second largest exclusive economic zone, should be at the forefront in the use of this type of aircraft, ” he added.
Over the past 50 years, Dassault Aviation has modified many Falcon aircraft to adapt them for maritime surveillance, medical evacuation, cargo transport, calibration, intelligence-gathering, training, etc. These multi-role aircraft represent approximately 10% of the Falcon fleet in service. French government services operate Falcon 10, 200, 50, 900, 2000, 7X and soon 8X aircraft in a strategic intelligence version under the Archange contract.
“These multi-role Falcon aircraft are a perfect example of the dual civil/military know-how of Dassault Aviation: they benefit from the cutting-edge technologies developed for our fighter aircraft and, at the same time, they take advantage of the industrial processes used for the highly competitive production of our business jets,” a statement from the airframe maker said.
The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) has ordered five Falcon 2000 MSA, also based on the 2000LXS platform, for a broad range of missions, including maritime surveillance, piracy control, drug interdiction, fisheries patrol, law enforcement, search and rescue, intelligence and reconnaissance. Dassault is also involved in the “Baekdu” signals intelligence programme with the Republic of Korea Air Force, based on two Falcon 2000S aircraft. –shp/mgm (Photo: Dassaut Aviation, JCG)