The first of the Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft being leased by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has touched down in Canberra.

RAAF is leasing three Falcon 7X aircraft to replace the Bombardier CL604 Challengers.

Introduced in 2002, the Challengers are part of RAAF’s special purpose aircraft (SPA) fleet operated by Number 34 Squadron.

The new aircraft is designed to provide a larger passenger load, modern communication, as well as increased range and endurance.

Designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation, the Falcon 7X is an advanced business jet that has a standard crew of three and can accommodate up to 14 passengers.

34 Squadron commanding officer wing commander Jason Pont noted that the Falcon complements the service’s existing larger Boeing 737 business jets.

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“The aircraft is equipped with an infrared enhanced vision system and has satellite communications to support government business while airborne.”

Pont said: “With a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.9 and a range of up to 11,000km, 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.”

The Falcon is powered by three P&W PW307A engines and features a high-tech wing and an advanced ‘glass cockpit’ with a heads-up display.

The aircraft is equipped with an infrared enhanced vision system and has satellite communications to support government business while airborne.

Number 34 Squadron will operate the Falcon aircraft as part of the SPA fleet, based at Defence Establishment Fairbairn in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Department of Defence also stated that Northrop Grumman will continue to maintain the fleet.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services is under a contract to deliver through-life support to 34 Squadron at Defence Establishment Fairbairn.