The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has received the second ATR 42MP surveillance aircraft, after it has been configured to a maritime patrol aircraft by Alenia Aeronautica.

It will be used by the NAF for patrolling missions, such as reconnaissance, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) control and search and rescue (SAR) operations.

Powered by PW 127E engine and 568F six-blade Hamilton propellers, the 42MP has a maximum cruise speed of 280 KTAS.

The aircraft is equipped with a SELEX developed ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance System) mission system.

Stations for mission operators, calculators and displays to control the mission, as well as main sensors such as search radar and electro-optical devices are also included.

The installation and integration of the aircraft systems and sensors, to transform it into maritime patrol configuration, was carried out at Alenia’s Turin-Caselle site.

The configuration was carried out as part of a $73m contract signed in 2007.

The contract also includes a provision for the necessary training for pilots and operators, delivery of a series of ground equipment (Ground Support Equipment) and spare parts necessary to ensure the airplane’s efficiency and reliability for patrol missions.

The air force is also working on details of a new long-range strike programme.