Alenia Aermacchi has signed an agreement with Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı (SSM), the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) and six ATR 72-600 TMPA (Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft) to the Turkish Navy.
The agreement is an amendment to a previous deal between Alenia and the Turkish government for the delivery of 10 ATR 72-500 ASW to the Turkish Navy.
The most important change into the contract amendment is the adoption of the new -600 version of the ATR 72, the best in class of regional Turboprop. The original contract was based on the now out of production ATR 72-500.
This agreement will allow the Turkish Navy to obtain the last generation ATR72-600 equipped with a glass cockpit as well as more powerful engines guaranting best performance and supportability for the next 30 years.
The two ATR 72-600TMUA--already in the modification phase at Alenia Aermacchis plant in Naples- Capodichino--will be used by the Turkish Navy for personnel and cargo transport and will be delivered in June and July 2013 .
The six ATR 72-600TMPA are designed as multi-role assets to satisfy the Turkish Navy maritime patrol requirement. The aircraft, named Meltem 3 in Turkey, will see the integration of the Thales AMASCOS mission system and will include new functionalities such as AIS, Link 16 and the last generation weapon systems, like the Mk 54 Light Weight Torpedo.
The AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation & Control System) mission system relies on multiple sensors to detect, identify and track threats, maintain real-time tactical situation awareness, manage NATO and national tactical data links and deploy onboard weapon systems.
While Alenia Aermacchi is responsible for the design and development of the transformation of the basic platform and for the mission systems installation and integration with the on-board systems of the basic aircraft, Thales will act as lead systems integrator for the ATR 72-600s new avionics suite which offers improved performance in terms of reduced weight and electrical power consumption as well as higher reliability and better long-term serviceability.
The work to convert the “green” ATR 72-600 in ATR 72-600TMPA will be performed by TAI, Turkish Aerospace Industry. The first ATR 72-600 arrived at TAIs Akinci plant in April 2013 and is currently under modification.
The first TMPA will be delivered to the Turkish Navy in February 2017. The aircraft will be certified in Italy under the responsibility of Alenia Aermacchi. The remaining five TMPA will be delivered in 2018.
The ATR 72TMPA is the Turkish Navy version of the ATR 72ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), a highly effective, middle-size, anti-submarine aircraft with competitive acquisition and operational costs. It is a special version of the ATR 72 turboprop regional aircraft made by the French-Italian ATR joint venture (Alenia Aermacchi/EADS). The ATR 72ASW is the only modern, middle-size aircraft available in the market, equipped with state-of-the-art mission sensors, and capable of carrying out maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare tasks.
The typical missions of this version include vessel search and identification, search and rescue (SAR), drug, smuggling and piracy control, environmental control (pollution by oil and chemical substances), maritime patrol roles, economic exclusive zone patrol (fishing, off-shore platforms), and Anti-Submarine Warfare.
The ATR 72ASW is equipped with a mission system containing electro-optical sensors, Search radar, ESM sensor (Electronic Support Measures), MAD sensor (Magnetic Anomaly Detector), Integrated self-protection system, (Chaff & Flare Dispenser, Radar Warning, Missile Warning, Laser Warning), Sono-buoy launcher and the Anti submarine torpedoes carried on 2 pylons at the fuselage sides.
The ATR 72ASW is also equipped with new-generation communication systems and through the data-link system, that connects in real-time with the ground command and control centers and other platforms, both on air and on sea, for coordination and maximum operations effectiveness. Its ESM and MAD sensors are completely integrated within the mission system and with the on-board avionics that envisages the new glass cockpit configuration, typical of the latest ATR 72-600 series.
In addition, the aircraft features a fuselage door that can be opened in flight and two observer stations equipped with large bubble windows.
The ATR 72ASW is also able to be reconfigured with additional specific systems and missile armaments to carry out anti-ship missions.
On top of the eight ATR 72 TMUA and TMPA the Italian Air Force has ordered four ATR 72 with initial Maritime Patrol (MP) capabilities and all the configuration provisions for the ASW capabilities, which will be integrated later.