France receives fourth Falcon 50 maritime surveillance aircraft

The French Navy has taken delivery of the last of its four Dassault Aviation-built Falcon 50 Surmar maritime surveillance aircraft on May 20.

The event was marked by a military ceremony on the Lann-Bihoué military base, presided by the French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and attended by Dassault Aviation Chairman & CEO Eric Trappier.

The four Falcon 50 Surmar aircraft, previously used for government transportation missions, have undergone transformation work at Dassault Aviation’s Mérignac site to install a search radar, an optronic system, a new cockpit and observation windows.

Including the first four aircraft delivered early in the 2000s, the French Navy now operates a fleet of eight Falcon 50 Surmar aircraft.

Dassault Aviation noted that it has supplied the French Navy’s maritime surveillance aircraft ever since the first Falcon 200 Gardians delivered in the early 1980s.

The new-generation Falcon Surmar has been launched with the Falcon 2000 MRA, which was recently ordered by the Japanese Coast Guard.

Maritime surveillance includes the following missions: operations to combat piracy, trafficking and pollution; fisheries control; maritime search and rescue (SAR).