Italy’s Guardia di Finanza agency has signed an agreement for three additional ATR 72MPs maritime patrol aircraft for €150 million ($162 million).
The agreement includes providing related technical-logistic support services to the customer, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
This completes the acquisition of four aircraft, the first order was placed in July 2018, awarded under a European tender. The first aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2019, with the remaining three units expected to be supplied by 2022.
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.
The ATR 72MP - already in service with the Italian Armed Forces in a military version called P-72A - is equipped with the modular Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system. The ATOS manages the wide range of sensors of the aircraft, combining the information received in an overall tactical situation and presenting the results to the operators of the mission system in a suitable format, constantly updating current scenarios.