The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, today announced the upcoming notification of the contract for an initial order for seven “Albatros” Maritime Surveillance and Intervention Aircraft (AVSIMAR) aircraft.
The “Albatros” is the next generation Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of the French Air Force with some features in common with the Boeing P8 and could be a competitor to it in future.
The first Falcon 2000LXS aircraft on which the AVSIMAR is based will be manufactured in France. The remainder 11 will be produced in India as part of the offset arrangements related to the 2016 Rafale fighter jet contract. The conversion of the 12 Falcon 2000LXS aircraft into the Albatros configuration will all be carried out in France, Florence Parly announced in a series of tweets.
Based on the Dassault Aviation Falcon 2000LXS plane the initial order for AVSIMAR aircraft will be delivered from 2025, out of the planned total of 12.
The 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, according to a Dassault release. Said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. “These aircraft provide 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.”
Ed comment: The manufacture of the Falcon 2000LXS aircraft in India will mark a major gain for the Indian offsets and Make-in-India policy. This will the first time an international company will manufacture the whole aircraft in India for use by the air force of its home country. Eric Trappier also said that a number of countries have shown interest in the Falcon 2000LXS based AVSIMAR aircraft. Should the AVSIMAR be sold internationally, there is a good chance that India's Reliance (which is partnering with Dassault on Rafale offsets) will stand to gain substantially.