Malaysia Ropes In Leonardo for Advanced Maritime Patrol Aircraft

In a momentous occasion at LIMA 2023, the Ministry of Defence of Malaysia has officially signed a contract with Leonardo, a leading aerospace and defense company,
ATR 72 MPAImage Source - Leonardo

In a momentous occasion at LIMA 2023, the Ministry of Defence of Malaysia has officially signed a contract with Leonardo, a leading aerospace and defense company, for the procurement of two ATR 72 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) platforms. This strategic move reaffirms Malaysia's commitment to bolstering its operational capabilities in maritime surveillance and defense.

The ATR 72 MPA is a twin-turboprop aircraft specifically designed for intricate maritime patrol missions. It represents the latest specialized variant of the ATR regional transport aircraft, showcasing Leonardo's expertise in developing aircraft for diverse missions, including Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface unit Warfare (AsuW), Search & Rescue (SAR), and environmental monitoring, among others.

Malaysia's choice of the ATR 72 MPA reflects the aircraft's reputation as an effective and capable platform that aligns perfectly with the country's operational requirements. The aircraft retains the baseline ATR 72-600's reliability, maintainability, and low lifecycle costs while incorporating advanced security and surveillance systems. Equipped with a flexible mission system, advanced sensors, and comprehensive communication capabilities, the ATR 72 MPA enables Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) missions over land and sea.

Leonardo's ATR 72 MPA is optimized for maritime patrol, offering capabilities such as electronic intelligence (ELINT) gathering, sea surface and submerged target detection and tracking, SAR operations, countering illegal activities (such as drug trafficking, piracy, and smuggling), and safeguarding territorial waters. Additionally, there is potential for the aircraft to evolve into a fully-fledged Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface unit Warfare (AsuW) platform.

The aircraft's onboard sensors, integrated through Leonardo's Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) mission system, provide comprehensive and continuously updated situational awareness to the mission system operators. This advanced system manages the aircraft's sensors, fuses gathered information, and presents a complete tactical picture to the crew. With ergonomic design and extended endurance capabilities, the ATR 72 MPA ensures efficient and effective missions that can last over 8 hours.

Leonardo's ATR-based Special Mission aircraft have already been successfully deployed by various operators in the APAC region, showcasing their ability to meet diverse customer requirements. Furthermore, Leonardo's extended logistics support further enhances the reliability and operational readiness of the ATR regional turboprop aircraft.

Dario Marfè, Senior Vice President of Aircraft Commercial & Customer Services at Leonardo, expressed pride in Malaysia's selection of the ATR 72 MPA. He highlighted the aircraft's advanced technological capabilities, combining the advantages of the ATR 72-600 passenger transport aircraft with Leonardo's state-of-the-art mission system. Positioned as an effective solution for security and defense, the ATR 72 MPA ensures the protection and well-being of its customers.

With its cutting-edge mission system, advanced sensors, and superior range and endurance, the ATR 72 MPA stands as a reliable and powerful asset in maritime patrol and surveillance, strengthening Malaysia's ability to ensure the security of its territorial waters and beyond.

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