The first of the Royal Australian Air Force’s new Dassault Falcon 7X Special Purpose Aircraft have landed in Canberra ahead of tasking.
The new aircraft is being leased by RAAF and is replacing the Bombardier CL604 Challengers, and provides a larger passenger load, modern communication and increased range and endurance.
Wing Commander Jason Pont, Commanding Officer of 34 Squadron, said the Falcon fleet would complement the RAAF’s larger Boeing 737 Business Jets and the specially modified KC-30A MRRT.
"The Falcon 7X is an advanced business jet designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation," WGCDR Pont said.
The Falcon features a high-tech wing, an advanced ‘glass cockpit' with a heads-up display and an infrared enhanced vision system. It also has satellite communications to support government business while airborne.
"With a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.9 and a range of up to 11,000 kilometres, the aircraft can fly from Canberra to anywhere in the world with only one stop. Its ability to land at almost any airfield provides notable regional and remote airfield accessibility," WGCDR Pont added.
The Falcon 7X was destined to be a revolutionary aircraft, introducing business aviation to the industry’s first Digital Flight Control System. Like so many other aspects of the aircraft, its DFCS drew on Dassault’s 30 years of military experience, especially its Rafale and Mirage 2000 programs.
WGCDR Pont said, "The jet has a standard crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and crew attendant) and can carry up to 14 passengers."
Today, over 270 Falcon 7X aircraft are in service in 41 countries. The fleet has performed some 550,000 flight hours and presents excellent dispatch reliability.
The aircraft will be operated by Number 34 Squadron as part of the Special Purpose Aircraft fleet, based at Defence Establishment Fairbairn in the ACT.
The Special Purpose Aircraft fleet will continue to be maintained by Northrop Grumman.