ITAL­IAN FIRM

Com­pany hopes Malaysia will re­place Beechcraft B200T fleet with ATR 72MP

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

LANGKAWI

ITAL­IAN com­pany Leonardo is of­fer­ing its ATR 72MP mar­itime pa­trol air­craft to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). It is un­der­stood that the air­craft is be­ing of­fered to the RMAF as a re­place­ment for its age­ing fleet of Beechcraft B200T mar­itime sur­veil­lance planes.

The New Straits Times was told that an Ital­ian Air Force ATR 72MP air­craft was flown out of Italy to par­tic­i­pate in the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace Ex­hi­bi­tion (Lima) 2017 with the pri­mary mis­sion of show­cas­ing it to RMAF.

Its sec­ondary mis­sion was to show it to other del­e­ga­tions.

It is un­der­stood that the vari­ant that would be of­fered to RMAF would come with anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

If the name ATR 72 seemed fa­mil­iar, it would for those who took Fire­fly and Malindo flights from or to Subang Air­port.

Both car­ri­ers use the ATR 72, and the 72MP was based on the 72-600.

In a state­ment, Leonardo said the air­craft was on its first “mis­sion” abroad.

The com­pany said the ATR 72MP could per­form roles, such as mar­itime pa­trol, search and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of sur­face ves­sels, com­mand, con­trol and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance, and search and res­cue.

It could also be used for pre­ven­tion of nar­cotics traf­fick­ing, piracy and smug­gling, ter­ri­to­rial wa­ter se­cu­rity, and mon­i­tor­ing and in­ter­ven­tion in the event of en­vi­ron­men­tal catas­tro­phes.

Leonardo said there were more sig­nif­i­cant ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties for the air­craft in Malaysia due to its low cost of op­er­a­tion, ease of main­te­nance and ex­cep­tional ver­sa­til­ity in a num­ber of mar­itime roles.

“The ATR 72MP is equipped with Leonardo’s ATOS mis­sion sys­tem, which uses an ad­vanced data fu­sion tech­nique to present a tac­ti­cal pic­ture to the op­er­a­tor that in­te­grates in­for­ma­tion from the air­craft’s on-board sen­sors.

“One key sen­sor on the ATR 72MP is Leonardo’s Sea­spray Ac­tive Elec­tron­i­cally Scanned Ar­ray sur­veil­lance radar, which pro­vides a pow­er­ful sur­veil­lance ca­pa­bil­ity with a range of modes.”

The air­craft, which can fly mis­sions last­ing up to 19 hours, also uses the lat­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, which can trans­mit or re­ceive in­for­ma­tion in real time to and from the com­mand and con­trol cen­tres, ei­ther on the ground, in the air or at sea, to en­sure co­or­di­nated and ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tions.

It is also equipped with a self-pro­tec­tion sys­tem, which is fully in­te­grated with the ATR 72MP’s mis­sion sys­tem and avion­ics.

Dur­ing Lima 2017, the pa­trol air­craft and its crew would be avail­able to del­e­ga­tions and guests for hosted brief­ings and vis­its.

PIC BY DANIAL SAAD

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein at the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace Ex­hi­bi­tion 2017 yes­ter­day. In the back­ground is a Leonardo ATR 72MP air­craft.

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