ATR 72MP is designated P-72A, a maritime patrol aircraft
Leonardo delivered the first two of a total four ATR 72MPs to the Italian Air Force (IAF). Designated P-72A by the IAF, the aircraft will replace the Air Force’s obsolete Breguet ATLANTIC. 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
“Security and environmental protection are both vitally important to our Country’s economy,” Mauro Moretti, Leonardo’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, explained. “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 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 200nm from its starting location.
The aircraft’s mission system, provided with four operator stations with high-definition 22in monitors and touch-screen control panels, is the last version of Leonardo’s Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) mission system. The aircraft has been designed with provisions to allow for future integration of additional sensors and components, which are mission-specific for ASW missions.
The ATOS mission system is fully integrated with a militarised ATR-600 Glass Cockpit, (including, amongst other military functionalities, one TACAN, two SAASM VI INS/GPS and one IFF TX) and a radio management system that permits that four V/UHF and two HF radios can be used and controlled by the mission system operators and also from the cockpit.
The mission system integrates three main sensors, FLIR Systems’ Star SAFIRE HD electro-optical turret; the Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems’ SEASPRAY 7300 electronically-scanned array (AESA) surveillance radar, and a self-protection suite based on Elettronica’s ELT800V2 ESM, providing the ATOS mission system with the capability to fully manage the tactical scenario with Radio Frequency tracks and enabling ELINT mission tasks.