The Malaysian Defense Minister today signed a contract with Leonardo for the supply of two ATR 72 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) platforms. The signing ceremony took place at LIMA 2023, a leading defense and maritime show in the Asia-Pacific region, held in Langkawi, Malaysia. This contract follows the selection, announced last October, of the solution offered by Leonardo and comprising the supply of two ATR aircraft for special missions in a maritime patrol configuration, plus the related integrated logistics support and training services.
THEATR 72MPA is a twin-turboprop aircraft designed for complex maritime patrol missions. It is the latest specialized variant of the ATR regional transport aircraft, within the wide range of models developed by Leonardo for missions including maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-submarine warfare surface warfare (ASuW, Anti-Surface unit Warfare), search and rescue (SAR, Search And Rescue), environmental monitoring, medical evacuation and the transport of personnel and materials.
The aircraft selected by Malaysia retain the reliability, maintainability, low life cycle costs and comfort of the basic ATR 72-600 model. They will also be equipped with a versatile mission system, advanced sensors and a comprehensive communications suite for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) missions on land and sea. The sensors and mission systems of the aircraft will be able to operate both in autonomous mode and in net-centric mode, allowing the collection, processing and sharing of strategic data between operators, while providing complete knowledge of the situation in the operational scenario.
The ATR 72 MPA is optimized for maritime patrol, electronic intelligence (ELINT), detection and tracking of surface and underwater targets, SAR, countering illegal activities (drug trafficking, piracy and smuggling) and protection of territorial waters. It can then evolve to become a fully mature platform for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW).
Variants of the ATR 72 MPA in service with military and police forces are equipped with the modular mission system Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) which will also be the heart in the configuration for Malaysia. ATOS manages the aircraft's on-board sensors, merging the collected information and presenting a complete and constantly updated tactical picture to the mission systems operators.
The ATR 72 MPA inherits from the commercial model the ergonomic design which contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of the crew during missions which usually last more than 8 hours.
ATR-based special mission aircraft are able to meet a wide range of customer requirements in the APAC region, where the many local operators of regional ATR turboprops can already rely on extensive logistical support.
Dario Marfè, Leonardo's SVP Aircraft Commercial & Customer Services, said: "We are proud that the Government of Malaysia has chosen our ATR 72 MPA, an aircraft that represents Leonardo's advanced technological capabilities in the design and integration of platforms and systems at the highest level. The ATR 72 MPA combines reliability and low cost working hours, all the advantages of the ATR 72-600 regional passenger transport aircraft and a very advanced Leonardo mission system.It is positioned on the market as an extremely effective solution to meet the security and defense requirements of its customers".