The first of the Leonardo ATR 72-600 aircraft, which was previously integrated with radars by Turkish Aerospace and will be delivered to the Turkish Naval Forces as part of the Meltem-3 (Breeze) 3 Project, landed on the facilities of Turkish Aerospace for final testing. Currently known as a passenger aircraft, Leonardo ATR 72-600 was redesigned by Turkish Aerospace engineers and technicians with a brand-new concept with the integration of relevant radar systems. The aircraft is planned to be used for air patrol operations by the Turkish Naval Forces, and in areas such as underwater scanning, and search and rescue. The first of a total of six aircraft was sent to the Leonardo company for the completion of certification tests following the integration of relevant systems at the Turkish Aerospace facilities. The first aircraft, the certification tests of which were successfully completed, and landed on Turkish Aerospace’s Kahramankazan Facilities will be delivered to the Turkish Naval Forces after the completion of the final testing.
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop, short-haul regional airliner developed and produced in France and Italy by aircraft manufacturer ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional), a joint venture formed by French aerospace company Aérospatiale (now Airbus) and Italian aviation conglomerate Aeritalia (now Leonardo S.p.A.). The number “72” in its name is derived from the aircraft’s standard seating configuration in a passenger-carrying configuration, which could seat 72–78 passengers in a single-class arrangement.
While primarily used as a civil aircraft, it has been adapted to perform maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) by the Turkish Navy.
In May 2013 Alenia Aermacchi has signed an agreement with the Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) and six ATR 72-600 TMPA (Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft) to the Turkish Navy.
In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. After configured by the TAI it was transferred back to Alenia for final modification.
ATR 72ASW is the middle-size aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art mission sensors, and capable of carrying out maritime patrol and anti- submarine warfare tasks.
The typical missions of this version include vessel search and identification, search and rescue (SAR), drug, smuggling and piracy control, environmental control (pollution by oil and chemical substances), maritime patrol roles, economic exclusive zone patrol (fishing, off-shore platforms), and Anti-Submarine Warfare.
The ATR 72ASW is equipped with AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system that includes:
- Electro-optical sensors
- Search radar (Ocean Master)
- ESM sensor (Electronic Support Measures)
- MAD sensor (Magnetic Anomaly Detector)
- Integrated self-protection system, (Chaff & Flare Dispenser, Radar Warning, Missile Warning, Laser Warning)
- Sonobuoy launcher
- Anti-submarine torpedoes (Mk 46, Mk 54) carried on 2 pylons at the fuselage sides
The ATR 72ASW is equipped with new-generation communication systems and through the data-link system, that connects in real-time with the ground command and control centers and other platforms, both on air and on sea, for coordination and maximum operations’ effectiveness. Its ESM and MAD sensors are completely integrated within the mission system and with the on-board avionics that envisages the new glass cockpit configuration, typical of the latest ATR 72-600 series.
The ATR 72ASW is also able to be reconfigured with additional specific systems and missile armaments to carry out anti-ship missions.