NWI - Naval Warfare

Alenia Aeronautica delivers the first ATR 42MP to the Nigerian Air Force

9th December 2009 - 06:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, delivered the first of two ATR 42MP Maritime Patrol aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) as part of the contract signed in March 2007.

The second aircraft is currently being converted and will be delivered to the customer in 2010.

The contract also covers the provision of pilot and operator training on the basic aircraft (at the ATR Training Centre in Toulouse) as well as on the MP configuration of the aircraft and the mission system (at the Alenia Aeronautica Training Centre at the Caselle South site in Turin). At the customer’s request, training will take place in Nigeria from 2010 onwards, in order to allow NAF to benefit from full use of the aircraft as quickly as possible.

The aircraft, which was delivered from the Toulouse site of the ATR consortium in a “green” configuration, was converted at the Alenia Aeronautica site in Brindisi, where the necessary structural and system modifications were undertaken. In a final step, the systems and sensors for the Maritime Patrol configuration were installed and integrated and test flights carried out, at the Alenia facilities in Caselle, Turin.

The ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system fitted onboard the aircraft was developed by SELEX Galileo (a Finmeccanica company) and includes workstations for the mission operators, computers and displays for managing the mission, as well as main sensors such as search radar and electro-optical equipment.

Giovanni Bertolone, CEO of Alenia Aeronautica, pointed to the success the aircraft has already enjoyed in operational use by the Italian Coast Guard and the Italian Custom Police, commenting that “The delivery of the first Maritime Patrol aircraft to Nigeria is the first time this product has been exported and confirms Alenia Aeronautica’s global standing in the supply of competitive, high-tech products for the surveillance and homeland security sector, which is fully consistent with the strategies of Finmeccanica”.

The aircraft will be used by the Nigerian Air Force to carry out traditional maritime patrol missions such as reconnaissance, patrolling the Exclusive Economic Zone, and Search and Rescue (SAR) activities.

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