Dassault converts business jets for military maritime operations

Sept. 13, 2013 at 5:16 PM
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SAINT-CLOUD, France, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Dassault Aviation has delivered to the French procurement agency the first of four Falcon 50 M business jets converted for maritime surveillance operations.

The plane had previously been operated by Etec, the French Air Force squadron responsible for official presidential and VIP flights.

The converted aircraft delivered this week will be used by the French Navy for missions such as search and rescue, surveillance of fishing zones and countering drug trafficking and smuggling.

The French Navy currently has a fleet of four Falcon 50 M jets.

Dassault Aviation said conversion of the business jet to a military maritime configuration involves installing observation windows and a mission control system -- including a radar device in the nose cone -- retractable infrared optronics and an operator's console in the aircraft cabin.

The value of the conversion contract was not disclosed.

Dassault said its delivery of the three remaining Falcon aircraft to the procurement agency will be completed in early 2015.

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