Dassault Aviation has delivered a new maritime surveillance aircraft, Falcon 50 Surmar, to the French Navy at the Lann-Bihoué military base.
The aircraft is the last in the second batch of four units ordered by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) for the navy.
The French Navy’s 24F squadron will now operate the new aircraft. In the early 2000s, the squadron took delivery of the first batch of four aircraft and the latest handover brings the total number of Falcon 50s to eight.
The four Falcon 50 Surmar aircraft, which have been upgraded at Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac site, feature new equipment, including an optronic system, a new cockpit and observation windows.
The maritime surveillance aircraft also features Thales-built Chlio forward-looking infrared, a Thales Ocean Master 100 search radar and three computerised mission stations. It has been launched along with Dassault’s Falcon 2000 MRA and is equipped to carry up to eight 25-man air-droppable life rafts.
The aircraft, which were earlier used for government transportation missions, will now be deployed for a range of maritime surveillance missions, including operations to combat piracy, trafficking and pollution, fisheries control, and maritime search-and-rescue (SAR).
Dassault’s Falcon 2000 MRA aircraft was recently selected by the Japan Coast Guard for induction into their fleet.
Image: The French Navy takes delivery of Dassault’s Falcon 50 Surmar aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Dassault Aviation.