The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of the first of two ATR-42MP maritime patrol aircraft from Alenia Aeronautica, as part of a contract signed with the firm in March 2007.

The NAF will use the ATR-42MP aircraft in its traditional maritime patrol missions such as reconnaissance, patrolling the exclusive economic zone, and search and rescue (SAR) activities.

The ATR-42MP aircraft went through necessary structural and system modifications at the Alenia Aeronautica site in Brindisi before its delivery from the Toulouse site in a ‘green’ configuration.

Installation and integration of the systems and sensors, as part of the maritime patrol configuration, and test flights were carried out in the final step at the Alenia facilities in Caselle, Turin.

The Selex Galileo-developed ATOS (airborne tactical observation and surveillance) mission system fitted atop the aircraft includes workstations for the mission operators, computers and displays for managing the mission, and main sensors such as search radar and electro-optical equipment.

As part of the contract agreement Alenia will also provide pilot and operator training on the basic aircraft at the ATR training centre in Toulouse, and MP configuration of the aircraft and the mission system at the Alenia Aeronautica training centre at the Caselle South site in Turin.

The delivery of the second aircraft, which is currently being converted, will take place in 2010.