The ATR 72MP is a multirole Maritime Patrol, Electronic Surveillance and C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) aircraft with very affordable costs, developed and built by Leonardo’s Aircraft Division from the platform of the modern ATR 72-600 regional turboprop.
The Italian Air Force is the launch customer, with four aircraft. The primary ATR 72MP duties are: maritime patrol for surface vessel search and identification, warfare command and control, electronic intelligence, search and rescue (SAR), prevention of piracy, smuggling and narcotics trafficking, and territorial water security. It can also carry personnel and paratroops.
The design is based on the ATR 72ASW project developed by the Aircraft Division for the Turkish Navy, where the particular Anti-Submarine Warfare systems have been replaced by a complete C4I systems suite: multi-datalink fully integrating Link 16, Link11, Satcom Ku/Ka, VORTEX, VMF and Radar Classifier, in addition to ESM ELINT (Electronic Surveillance Measures – ELectronic INTelligence) capabilities. The mission system is based on four state-of-the-art operator stations, using a significant upgrade of the proven Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) mission system of Leonardo’s Airborne & Space Systems Division. The aircraft has been designed with provisions to allow for future integration of additional sensors, which are mission-specific for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions.
The ATOS mission system is fully integrated with a militarised ATR-600 Glass Cockpit, (including TACAN, two SAASM VI INS/GPS and one IFF TX) and a radio management system so that 4 V/UHF and 2 HF Radios can be controlled by the mission system operators and also from the cockpit. The system integrates three main sensors, the Star Safire HD electro-optical turret; the Selex ES Seaspray 7300 electronically-scanned array search radar and the self-protection suite based on the Elettronica ELT800V2 ESM, providing the ATOS mission system with the capability to fully manage the tactical scenario with Radio Frequency tracks and enabling ELINT mission tasks.
The Self-Protection System suite, derived from the one that equips the C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter, includes chaff & flare dispensers, missile and laser warning systems and a new RWR/ESM with ELINT and geo-localisation capabilities. The suite is integrated by a new DASS Management Computer and operated from the cockpit via a dedicated DASS display unit and DASS control panel.
The configuration also includes an Automatic Identification System (AIS), and a C-SAR ASARS (radio and satellite secure communications crypto devices).
The ATR 72MP system fully meets the most stringent requirements for hardware and software security.