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Turkish Navy Meltem III ATR 72-600 TMPA Maritime Patrol Aircraft Conducts First Flight.

| 2017
Naval Forces News - Turkey
Turkish Navy Meltem III ATR 72-600 TMPA Maritime Patrol Aircraft Conducts First Flight
Turkish Navy's new ATR 72-600 TMPA successfully completed its maiden flight yesterday from TAI's Akinci facility in Ankara. Under the Meltem III program, the six ATR 72-600T MPA are designed as multi-role assets to satisfy the Turkish Navy maritime patrol requirement.
Turkish Navy Meltem III ATR 72 600 TMPA 1Turkish Navy Meltem III ATR 72-600 TMPA in its maiden flight. Picture via Turkish MoD twitter
Alenia Aermacchi has signed an agreement with Savunma Sanayii Müstesarligi (SSM), the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) and six ATR 72-600 TMPA (Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft) to the Turkish Navy. The contract calls for strong industrial collaboration between Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) for the duration of the project.

The ATR 72TMPA is the Turkish Navy version of the ATR 72ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), a highly effective, middle-size, anti-submarine aircraft with competitive acquisition and operational costs. It is a special version of the ATR 72 turboprop regional aircraft made by the French-Italian ATR joint venture (Alenia Aermacchi/EADS). The ATR 72ASW is the only modern, middle-size aircraft available in the market, equipped with state-of-the-art mission sensors, and capable of carrying out maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare tasks.
Admiral Makarov Project 11356 frigateTurkish Navy ATR 72-600 TMPA model on Finmeccanica stand during IDEF 2013
The aircraft is fitted with the Thales AMASCOS mission system as well as AIS, Link 16 and the last generation weapon systems, like the Raytheon Mk 54 and Mk 46 Light Weight Torpedo.

The AMASCOS (Airborne Maritime Situation & Control System) mission system relies on multiple sensors to detect, identify and track threats, maintain real-time tactical situation awareness, manage NATO and national tactical data links and deploy onboard weapon systems.

While Alenia Aermacchi is responsible for the design and development of the transformation of the basic platform and for the mission system’s installation and integration with the on-board systems of the basic aircraft, Thales acts as lead systems integrator for the ATR 72-600’s new avionics suite which offers improved performance in terms of reduced weight and electrical power consumption as well as higher reliability and better long-term serviceability.
Turkish Navy Meltem III ATR 72 600 TMPA 2ATR72 being converted in Meltem III ATR 72-600 TMPA variant at TAI facility. Picture: TAI
The work to convert the “green” ATR 72-600 in ATR 72-600TMPA is performed by TAI, Turkish Aerospace Industry. The first ATR 72-600 arrived at TAI’s Akinci plant in April 2013. The first TMPA will be delivered to the Turkish Navy in February 2017. The aircraft will be certified in Italy under the responsibility of Alenia Aermacchi. The remaining five TMPA will be delivered in 2018.

The typical missions of this version include vessel search and identification, search and rescue (SAR), drug, smuggling and piracy control, environmental control (pollution by oil and chemical substances), maritime patrol roles, economic exclusive zone patrol (fishing, off-shore platforms), and Anti-Submarine Warfare.

The ATR 72ASW is equipped with a mission system that includes:
• electro-optical sensors;
• Search radar;
• ESM sensor (Electronic Support Measures);
• MAD sensor (Magnetic Anomaly Detector);
• Integrated self-protection system, (Chaff & Flare Dispenser, Radar Warning, Missile Warning, Laser Warning);
• Sonobuoy launcher;
• Anti-submarine torpedoes carried on 2 pylons at the fuselage sides.

The ATR 72ASW is also equipped with new-generation communication systems and through the data-link system, that connects in real-time with the ground command and control centers and other platforms, both on air and on sea, for coordination and maximum operations’ effectiveness. Its ESM and MAD sensors are completely integrated within the mission system and with the on-board avionics that envisages the new glass cockpit configuration, typical of the latest ATR 72-600 series.

In addition, the aircraft features a fuselage door that can be opened in flight and two observer stations equipped with large bubble windows.

The ATR 72ASW is also able to be reconfigured with additional specific systems and missile armaments to carry out anti-ship missions.

On top of the eight ATR 72 TMUA and TMPA, the Italian Air Force has ordered four ATR 72s with initial Maritime Patrol (MP) capabilities and all the configuration provisions for the ASW capabilities, which will be integrated later.

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