India: the ATR 72 of the Italian Guardia di Finanza at the frontline of the health emergency

18 May 2021

The ATR 72 of the Italian law enforcement agency, which acts as finance and customs police, the Guardia di Finanza, took off last week from the airport of Pratica di Mare (Rome) for India, the country has been experiencing a surge in Coronavirus cases. The aircraft made by Leonardo carried new medical equipment and supplies, including 30 oxygen concentrators, donated by Vitalaire Spa through Regione Veneto, two ultrasound scanners from Regione Lombardia’s Department of Civil Protection, two lung ventilators provided by ENI, and 212,000 protective masks donated by Hope ONLUS.

In addition to the transportation of these supplies, the ATR 72 is also being used to return a team to Italy that has been supporting local doctors at the ITBP Hospital in Greater Noida since the 3rd May. The team comprises of staff from the Regione Piemonte Maxiemergenza 118 group, a Regione Lombardia doctor, and a representative of the Ministry of Health. This team has succeeded in a very short space of time – thanks also to the support of the Italian Embassy in New Delhi – in putting into operation the oxygen generator donated by Regione Piemonte and in providing assistance to Italians who have tested positive to the virus in India.

Photo credit: Italian Guardia di Finanza

 

The ATR 72 for the Italian Guardia di Finanza

Designated the P-72B, the aircraft has been integrated into the aeronautical capabilities of Guardia di Finanza to meet the multirole tasks that are assigned to the operator. The Guardia di Finanza is the only law enforcement agency with a general jurisdiction to exercise incisive and supervisory activities along the entire nation’s coast and across to international waters. This is achieved through the advanced technological equipment installed on its own aircraft.

Specific latest generation capabilities embedded for the first time into the ATR 72MP are useful to support dedicated surveillance activities entrusted to the Guardia di Finanza. The ATR 72MP operates in air-sea patrol and research missions, using on-board sensors to identify, even discreetly, sensitive objects, and monitor behaviours, acquire evidence, and lead the intervention of naval units and land patrols.

The ATR 72MP, already in-service with the Italian Armed Forces in a military version called P-72A, is equipped with the modular Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system. The ATOS manages a wide range of aircraft sensors, combining the information received in an overall tactical situation and presenting the results to the operators of the mission system in the most suitable format, providing a high level and constantly updated scenario.

Thanks to its commercial derivation, the ATR 72MP delivers its crew levels of ergonomics that increase its efficiency and effectiveness during maritime patrol, search and identification missions, search and rescue operations, counter drug trafficking, piracy, smuggling and preventing any illegal action across the territorial waters, which can typically last more than 8 hours.

 

Photo credit: Luca Nicolotti

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