Dassault Aviation has awarded Thales a contract to provide its SEARCHMASTER surveillance radar and the mission navigation system for the Maritime Surveillance and Intervention Aircraft (AVSIMAR) programme to renew the French Navy’s fleet of maritime surveillance aircraft. The radar will help the Navy to detect and track threats such as fast inshore attack craft and jet-skis used by pirates and other illegal operators. The programme includes the acquisition of 12 Falcon 2000 ALBATROS aircraft to replace eight Falcon 50 M and five Falcon 200 Gardian aircraft that will be withdrawn from active service between 2025 and 2030.
The SEARCHMASTER surveillance radar employs a variety of advanced radar modes to provide simultaneous short-range and long-range detection capabilities. As well as exposing small targets in heavy seas, it is also capable of detecting land vehicles and tracking their movements. Very high-resolution imaging and advanced target detection modes will boost operational performance to enhance tactical situation awareness even in extreme environmental conditions.
Thales equipment and systems on board the ALBATROS will include the jam-resistant mission navigation system, which will provide the aircraft’s onboard sensors with extremely precise positioning data to meet operational requirements on civilian missions and in hostile military environments. Connected to the aircraft’s mission system, the Thales solution includes the TopAXYZ inertial navigation system, the TopStar 100-2 military GPS and the TopShield CRPA anti-jamming system.
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 U.S. Coast Guard to the Falcon 2000MSA of the Japanese Coast Guard, as well as the Falcon 200 Gardian and 50M of the French Navy. The first Falcon 2000LXS aircraft on which the program will be based will be manufactured in France. The remainder will be produced in India as part of the offset arrangements related to the 2016 Rafale contract. The conversion of the 12 Falcon 2000LXS aircraft into the Albatros configuration will all be carried out in France.