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Leonardo is close to completing the integration of the Thales AMOSCOS (Airborne MAritime Situation & COntrol System) in the Turkish Navy’s first ATR72-600. Under MELTEM (Sea Breeze) III, the Turkish Navy is set to receive six ATR 72s, although work on the final five aircraft will be completed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). According to TAI the first aircraft has made 11 test flights so far from Leonardo’s Turin-Caselle facility.

The system is designed around a tactical command subsystem with a full range of latest-generation Thales sensors (radar, ESM and acoustic) and communication systems. Two forward pylons have been configured on the forward fuselage, which can take two Mk54 lightweight torpedos, although Leonardo are keen to stress that other lightweight torpedos of the same class could be integrated if required.

The programme originally called for ten ATOS maritime patrol systems for integration on ten Turkish Navy ATR 72-500 aircraft. However, TAI abandoned plans to upgrade the -500 aircraft from analogue to glass cockpit, preferring instead to acquire the -600 with the glass cockpit, which led to the contract being renegotiated in 2014. This saw two utility ATR-72-600s delivered in 2015 and six ATR72-600 maritime patrol aircraft being contracted in 2014. Nevertheless, SSM had already acquired ten ATOSmission systems.

TAI sent the first aircraft to Turin-Caselle on 14 July 2016 and once certification of the configuration is completed over the coming months, the first aircraft will be delivered back to Turkey. TAI will then commence integration of the remaining five AMOSCOS systems at its massive Ankara facility. It means SSM will have four spare sets.

The aircraft will eventually be based at Topel Naval Air Station on Turkey’s west coast.

Under MELTEM I and II, the Navy acquired six CN235s although its believed only four are fitted with the Thales systems and the Coast Guard took on three CN 235s, but with two systems.

Alan Warnes

 

The first ATR-72-600 plane for Turkish Navy at the Leonardo factory. (Photo: Turkish Navy)

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