Pakistan Navy received its first ever ATR-72 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) in the second quarter of 2018, revealed a German subcontractor Aerodata AG.
Aerodata AG revealed this in an official news release, stating that the contract was initially signed back in 2015 to convert two ATR-72 aircraft to Maritime Patrol Aircraft. According to the subcontractor, the work on the project started in January 2016 after the government gave an official export approval.
The two ATR-72’s were already owned by the country’s naval warfare branch. One of the aircraft has successfully been converted and delivered to the Pakistan Navy.
The press release reads,
In the second quarter 2018, the first ATR-72 Maritime Patrol Aircraft has been delivered to the Pakistan Navy – after completing intensive ground and flight tests. This delivery represents a major milestone for Rheinland Air Service as prime contractor and Aerodata as the key project partner.
Most of the essential tasks, such as overall project management, all physical modifications, acquiring components, and pilot training is handled by the prime contractor Rheinland Air Service. Some of the features of the MPA include,
- Leonardo Seaspray 7300E AESA radar,
- Elettronica ESM suite,
- FLR Systems Star SAFFIRE III EO/IR turret,
- Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) through lightweight ASW torpedo.
The subcontractor, Aerodata AG handled secondary non-production tasks including system integration activities, customer training and support, delivery of modification components, engineering tasks to convert the plane to its Maritime configuration, and the delivery of mission management system called AeroMission.
Pakistan Navy’s new MPA’s will be used to effectively carry out “maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and also search-and-rescue” missions.