Leonardo-Finmeccanica delivered the first two of a total four ATR 72MPs, a multirole Maritime Patrol, Electronic Surveillance and C4I aircraft, to the Italian Air Force today.
Designated P-72A by the Italian Air Force, the aircraft will replace the Air Force’s obsolete Breguet Atlantic.
Mauro Moretti, Leonardo’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager said: “Security and environmental protection are both vitally important to our Country’s economy. As well as international trade passing through our coastal territory, we need to remain vigilant to illegal trafficking and migration flows. Therefore, in order to protect our economic strength and national security we have provided the ATR 72MP, which comes equipped with Leonardo’s latest security and surveillance systems.”
The latest version of the contract, signed in 2014, envisages the delivery of logistic support services, in addition to the supply of four ATR 72MP platforms, which will be completed by 2017.
The aircraft, developed and produced by Leonardo using the ATR 72-600 turboprop as a base, can act in a number of roles including maritime patrol for the search and identification of surface vessels, SAR (search and rescue) missions, the prevention of narcotics trafficking, piracy, smuggling, territorial water security and monitoring and intervention in the event of environmental catastrophes.
The ATR 72MPs will be provided with the latest communication systems, able to transmit or receive information in real time to/from command and control centres either on the ground, in the air or at-sea, to ensure coordinated and effective operations.
The aircraft will also be equipped with a self-protection system, fully integrated with the ATR 7MP’s mission system and avionics. The aircraft will be able to fly missions lasting six and a half hours at ranges up to 200 nautical miles from its starting location.