RAAF to Substitute Challenger CL-604 with Dassault Falcon 7X

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The first Dassault Falcon 7X at Royal Australian Air Force livery. (Julien Chierici)

Defence has confirmed that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has allowed three Dassault Falcon 7X business jets to displace the Bombardier Challenger CL-604 jets operated by 34SQN in Canberra as VIP specific purpose aircraft (SPA).

The first of the three aircraft was ferried from Dassault’ s Merignac facility near Bordeaux, France, to a cabin inside finishing center in Little Rock, Arkansas on March 29 using the “ ASY” callsign widely employed by RAAF air mobility team (AMG) aircraft.

The aircraft has been painted in RAAF VIP navy colors that were familiar.

The Falcon 7X is a capability leap from the CL-604 that is more compact. It is powered by three P& W PW307A motors, has a maximum operating speed of 0. 90 Mach and a range of up to 5, 950nm, providing it an one-stop range capability to almost any destination on the planet .

As significantly, the Falcon 7X has great short-field performance along with a low pavement rating, letting it operate into distant and regional airfields.

The 12-16 seat cabin is 11. 9m long and provides stand-up headroom of just one. 88m, though it isn’t known the actual RAAF cabin arrangement will likely be. When cruising at 45 the Falcon 7X has a relative cabin pressure of 4, 000 ft.

Entered service in 2002. They’re still relatively young aircraft concerning flying hours, with the fleet recently passing the 50, 000 flying hour milestone.

A file image of a Dassault Falcon 7X. (Dassault)


The flight deck of a Dassault Falcon 7X. (Dassault Falcon)

A Dassault Falcon 7X’s airport.

A look at one configuration of the Dassault Falcon 7X cabin. (Dassault Falcon)

A look of the Dassault Falcon 7X cabin at one setup.

The purpose of the RFP, which closed in February 2016, was to identify and evaluate the feasibility, risk, affordability, value and overall suitability of the range of contractor methodologies and accessible capability alternatives.

Defence undertook an evaluation, and two firms were shortlisted in the RFP respondents at June 2016.

That kicks off at august 2016, Defence pioneered a project definition analysis to participate using the shortlisted respondents to collaboratively finalise contract requirements and develop a Request for Tender (RFT).

The RFT was released to the two shortlisted firms in December 2016, as well as at February 2017 that the industry respondents tabled their tenders into Defence .

Meanwhile, the Defence in 2017 worked out alternatives that extended the SPA maintenance and support agreement with Northrop Grumman IDS before September 2019 to align with the lease that the current fleet.

Independent into the SPA process, the RAAF’ s VIP capacities are also boosted using the delivery of a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport altered to support long-range government VIP transport needs due for delivery in late 2019.

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VIDEO: Check out the Dassault Falcon 7X in producer ’ s YouTube station .