The French Navy is set to procure up to 12 Falcon 2000LXS aircraft from Dassault Aviation as part of the ‘Albatros’ Maritime Surveillance and Intervention Aircraft (AVSIMAR) programme.

During a visit to the Dassault Aviation’s plant in Seclin, northern France, the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly informed about the upcoming notification of the contract for the AVSIMAR programme.

The induction of the aircraft is expected to boost maritime surveillance capabilities of the armed forces.

The initial order will be for seven aircraft, in accordance with the multiyear military spending bill (LPM). The deliveries are slated to begin from 2025.

The Falcon 2000 Albatros will be equipped with a multifunction radar under the fuselage, a high-performance optronic turret, observation windows, a Search & Rescue (SAR) kit release system and dedicated communication systems.

Dassault Aviation will also commit to a guaranteed availability clause to provide industrial support for ten years.

The first Falcon 2000LXS aircraft will be manufactured in France, while the remaining will be produced in India as part of the offset arrangements associated with the 2016 Rafale contract.

Subsequently, the 12 aircraft will be converted to the Albatros configuration in France.

Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier said: “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.

“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.”