ATR 72 MP Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Italy
The ATR 72 MP is a maritime surveillance aircraft developed by Alenia Aermacchi. Built based on the ATR 72-600 platform, the ATR 72 MP serves as a low-cost, consistent, sea-surface surveillance platform for the military forces across the world.
The aircraft helps to detect, locate and rescue people from broken ships and aircraft. It offers cost-effective surveillance and exclusive economic zone patrol and search-and-rescue (SAR).
The equipment installed on the aircraft, such as sensors, communications equipment and mission systems can be customised depending on the mission requirement.
ATR 72 MP aircraft orders and deliveries
The Italian Air Force awarded a contract for delivery of four ATR 72 MP maritime patrol aircraft to replace its ageing Breguet Atlantic aircraft, in December 2008.
A $137.4m contract was awarded to Alenia Aeronautica in November 2011 for providing logistical support for four ATR 72 MP aircraft of the Italian Air Force.
Design features of ATR 72 MP patrol aircraft
The ATR 72 MP is manufactured with composite materials, which make the aircraft highly resistant to damage and corrosion. The airframe is designed to install sensors and other function-specific modules such as bubble windows and an in-flight operable door.
Compared to its predecessor the ATR 42 MP, this aircraft has significant endurance, more interior space and the latest control systems.
The ATR 72 MP has an operational empty weight of 14,586kg and maximum take-off weight of 23,000kg. The aircraft can carry a payload of 5,000kg.
ATR 72 MP aircraft cockpit and avionics
The ATR 72 MP aircraft is equipped with a glass cockpit that integrates five LCD screens as a standard fitment, along with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components for better interface and high resolution graphics.
The SELEX Galileo airborne tactical observation and surveillance (ATOS) mission system is installed with four interchangeable strategic operator stations to simplify the operations. It includes three sensors including an electro-optical turret FLIR system Star Safire HD, AESA SELEX Galileo Sea Spray 7000E search radar and an ESM (Electronic Support Measures) sensor from Elettronica.
The 360° operated turret helps to identify targets around the clock using its wide elevation range.
The multimode, X-band 360° search radar enables long-range target detection, tracking and identification of approximately 100 targets at a time using track while scan application (TWS).
The ATR 72 MP aircraft includes automatic identification system (AIS) and a V/UHF 360° direction-finding device to locate the direction of range radio emitters between 30MHz and 470MHz frequencies.
The side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) installed on the aircraft helps to detect water pollution from long range and trace underwater activities close to the sea surface. The Hyper Spectral Scanner (HSS) of the aircraft helps to find the type of polluting agent.
ATR 72 MP self protection system and countermeasures
Self protection systems on the ATR 72 MP aircraft include chaff and flare dispenser and a warning system for radars, missiles and lasers. The standard aircraft configuration includes ESM and self-protection systems for reconnaissance and operations in mission critical battlefield.
Engine details of ATR 72 MP
The power plant of the aircraft includes two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 127M turboprops, which each provides a maximum take-off power of 2,750shp.
The engine is fitted with a Hamilton Sundstrand 568F six-blade, variable-pitch propeller.
ATR 72 MP aircraft performance
The ATR 72 MP aircraft can cruise at a maximum speed of 459.29km/h. It can fly at an operational altitude of 7,620m, but has a maximum endurance of ten hours at 1,524m altitude.
The aircraft can take-off from runways as short as 1,170m and land on runways as short as 630m.
The aircraft can be operated in extreme weather conditions and altitudes. It features a Hotel Mode, which enables the aircraft to operate from remote bases.
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