Both the Mi and Ms variants are equipped with a dedicated mission suite that comprises an Ocean Master 100 radar and a Chlio FLIR turret. This is the first Ms aircraft, seen here flying with gear extended.
The Falcon 50 was perceived by the Marine Nationale as offering the best compromise between range, equipment, cabin volume, affordability and immediate availability. Here, a Falcon Mi manoeuvres at medium altitude.
To reduce costs, the first four Falcon 50s were sourced on the second-hand market. This is a Mi with the belly hatch opened.
When the programme was launched, there was a strong debate in the Marine Nationale over the drawbacks and advantages of the turbofan as it was felt by some that the turbine/propeller was better adapted to the role. Eventually, the Falcon 50M was selected.
The nose-mounted Ocean Master 100 radar provides 240 degrees of horizontal coverage. Typical radar detection range from high altitude is about 100nm.
Falcon 50Ms No.5 undergoes maintenance at Lann-Bihoue. Since entering service, the type has proved remarkably reliable; it has a 92% availability rate.
Falcon 50Ms No.87, the last to be delivered, sits on the ramp at Lann-Bihoue in late August 2016.
When it was introduced in March 2000, the Falcon 50M was the first Aeronavale aircraft to offer full electronic flight instrumentation system technology to its pilots, a major step ahead compared to the traditional instrumentation of the Nord 262 and of the Atlantique 2.