On 19 November 2020, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, visited the Dassault Aviation plant in Seclin, in the north of France, on which occasion she announced the imminent signing of the acquisition contract of up to 12 Dassault Aviation Falcon 2000LXS converted into maritime surveillance aircraft.
According to the multi-year military spending bill, the initial order is for seven aircraft, to be delivered starting in 2025, out of the planned total of 12.
According to the newspaper latribune.fr, this purchase corresponds to the AVSIMAR plan (for Maritime Surveillance and Intervention Aircraft) that seeks to renew the aerial material destined for maritime security missions. Currently, around 5 Dassault Falcon 2000 Guardian and 8 Falcon 50M are employed in these tasks, which should be replaced by 12 new Falcon 2000s.
The contract is valued at around 1.3 billion euros and, in addition to the aircraft, includes Dassault’s commitment to providing logistical support for 10 years. Deliveries would start in 2025.
Dassault Aviation issued a statement informing about the capabilities of the Albatros (the name of the Falcon 2000LXS converted into maritime patrols), the experience in this type of work, and the details of the manufacturing process.
“Dassault Aviation and the dozens of French companies associated with the Falcon programs would like to thank the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) and the French Navy for their trust.”
The Falcon 2000 Albatros will feature an under-fuselage multi-function radar, a high-performance optronic turret, observation windows, a SAR (search and 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 collaboration with the Navy personnel for 10 years.
“The Falcon 2000 Albatros is a high-performance aircraft equipped with a state-of-the-art sensor and mission system. From the Falcon 20 of the US Coast Guard to the Falcon 2000MSA of the Japanese Coast Guard, as well as the Falcon 200 Guardian 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, president and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
“Several countries have shown interest in these aircraft, which provide an effective response to the considerable challenges of national territory protection and maritime security and government action at sea: fight against pollution and illegal traffic, border surveillance and exclusion zones, fisheries surveillance, search and rescue at sea, etc.
It is logical that France, which has the second-largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world, is at the forefront in the use of this type of aircraft ”.
The first Falcon 2000LXS aircraft on which the program will be based will be manufactured in France. The remainder will be produced in India as part of the compensation agreements related to the 2016 Rafale contract. The conversion of the 12 Falcon 2000LXS aircraft to the Albatros configuration will take place in France. Click here to learn more about Falcon 2000.
Over the past 50 years, Dassault Aviation has modified many Falcon aircraft to suit maritime surveillance, medical evacuation, cargo transportation, calibration, intelligence gathering, training, and more. These multifunction aircraft represent approximately 10% of the Falcon fleet in Service. The 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 Dassault Aviation’s dual civil/military know-how: they benefit from cutting-edge technologies developed for our fighter jets while taking advantage of the industrial processes used for the highly competitive production of our jets. executives.
As can be seen, the trend continues for executive jets to take on increasingly important roles, through conversions, in defense missions, since they offer high performances at lower costs than military equivalents.
It is also worth noting that these Albatross can carry out “police” type maritime patrol missions (MPA), they cannot carry out naval attack missions or anti-submarine missions.