The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)’s third and final Falcon 7X aircraft has arrived in Australia completing part of a project to upgrade the service’s Special Purpose Aircraft (SPA) fleet.
The Falcon 7X is an advanced business jet designed and manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer, Dassault Aviation. The three new Falcon 7Xs replace RAAF’s Bombardier CL604 Challenger fleet and provide a larger passenger load, modern communication and increased range and endurance.
The RAAF’s Falcon 7X aircraft are leased through American defense contractor Northrop Grumman and will be operated by Number 34 Squadron based at Defence Establishment Fairbairn in the Australian Capital Territory. The first Falcon 7X special purpose aircraft arrived in Canberra on April 16.
The Falcon 7X aircraft has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.9 and a range of up to 11,000 km making it capable of flying from Canberra to anywhere in the world with only one stop. It also has the ability to land at almost any airfield providing notable regional and remote airfield accessibility.
The aircraft features a high-tech wing, an advanced ‘glass cockpit’ with a heads-up display and an infrared enhanced vision system, and also has satellite communications to support Government business while airborne. The jet has a standard crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and crew attendant) and can carry up to 14 passengers.
Northrop Grumman was recently awarded a contract to continue to sustain RAAF’s SPA fleet, which also includes the two Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) aircraft.