Dassault Aviation has been awarded a contract to study a future maritime surveillance aircraft based on its Falcon 2000 LXS business jet. The contract, issued by French defense materiel agency DGA, calls upon Dassault to study the potential modifications and adaption work required to make the Falcon 2000 ready for the French Avsimar program to develop a surveillance and maritime response aircraft. The mission is currently performed by a fleet of Dassault Falcon 50Ms and Falcon 200 Guardians. The Falcon 50Ms perform the missions from mainland France while the Guardians operate from French overseas territories in Polynesia and New Caledonia. The DGA says the current aircraft will be 40 years old by the time they are retired. The Avsimar program has already identified the Falcon 2000, which the DGA says is faster and more durable than the types currently in service. The studies will pave the way for an acquisition decision in 2020.