Langkawi: Italian heavyweight, Leonardo today signed a contract with the Malaysian government for the supply of two ATR 72 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) at a signing ceremony held during the heights of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition.
This inked contract follows the selection of the solution offered by Leonardo announced last October, and includes the supply of two ATR special mission aircraft in maritime patrol configuration plus the related integrated logistic support and training services.
The aircraft chosen by Malaysia retains the reliability, maintainability, low lifecycle costs and comfort features of the baseline ATR 72-600. They will also be equipped with a flexible mission system, advanced sensors and a complete communications suite for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) missions over land and sea. The sensors and mission systems will be able to operate in stand-alone and net-centric modes, enabling the collection, processing and sharing of strategic data among operators, while providing complete situational awareness about the operational scenario.
Senior Vice President Aircraft Commercial & Customer Services at Leonardo, Dario Marfè said: “We are proud that the Malaysian Government has chosen our ATR 72 MPA, an aircraft which represents Leonardo’s advanced technological capabilities in the design and integration of platforms and systems at the highest levels”.
“The ATR 72 MPA combines reliability and low operating costs, all the advantages of the ATR 72-600 regional passenger transport aircraft, and features a state-of-the-art Leonardo mission system. It is positioned on the market as a tremendously effective solution for the security and defence of its customers,” added Marfè.
The ATR 72 MPA is a twin-turboprop aircraft designed for complex maritime patrol missions. It is the latest specialised variant of the ATR regional transport aircraft, part of a wide range of types developed by Leonardo for missions including maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface unit warfare (AsuW), search and rescue (SAR), environmental monitoring, medical evacuation and transport of personnel and materials.
The ATR 72 MPA is optimised for maritime patrol, electronic intelligence (ELINT) gathering, sea surface and submerged target detection and tracking, SAR, countering illegal activities (drug trafficking, piracy and smuggling) and protecting territorial waters. There is growth potential for it to evolve into a fully-fledged antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface unit warfare (AsuW) platform.
Variants of the ATR 72 MPA, in service with military and law enforcement organisations, are equipped with the modular Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system, which will also be included in the Malaysian configuration.
The ATOS manages the aircraft’s on-board sensors, fusing the information gathered and presenting a comprehensive and continuously updated tactical picture to the mission system operators. With a commercial heritage, the ATR 72 MPA features an ergonomic design that supports the efficiency and effectiveness of the crew during missions that can typically last more than 8 hours.
The ATR-based special mission aircraft are able to meet a wide-range of customer requirements across the APAC region, with many local operators of the ATR regional turboprop already benefitting from extended logistics support.
In Asia-Pacific, Leonardo’s helicopters are widely in service of the militaries, para-militaries law enforcement forces and commercial users. –shp/adj/aaa (Image: Leonardo)