The Pakistan Navy (PN) has received the second of two ATR-72 twin-engine turboprops converted into maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) under a contract signed in 2015.
In a 10 July press release Germany-based company Rheinland Air Service (RAS) said that it handed over the second example of the type, which is now known as the RAS 72 Sea Eagle, during a ceremony held at RAS headquarters in Mönchengladbach shortly after the platform was introduced to the general public at the Paris Air Show 2019, which was held from 17 to 23 June.
The first aircraft, which was handed over by RAS in June 2018, re-entered service with the PN on 12 December 2018 in a ceremony held at naval air station PNS Mehran in Karachi (both ATR-72s had previously been in service with the PN as transports).
The RAS 72 Sea Eagle is equipped with a long-range, active electronically scanned array (AESA) multimode radar, as well as electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensors to deliver aerial, maritime, and ground surveillance, according to RAS.
The platform also features an acoustic processing system, sonobuoy launchers, a broadband satellite communications system, an electronic support measures suite, a self-protection suite, and two weapon hard-points, enabling anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime patrol capabilities. The PN's two RAS 72 Sea Eagles also feature Aerodata's mission management system, called AeroMission, for ASW.
"The variety of state-of-the-art on-board sensors enable operators and decision makers to detect and identify sensitive targets above or below the surface of the ocean, while transmitting all the information captured on-board in real-time to the dedicated command centre," said the company, adding that the RAS 72 Sea Eagle offers operational flexibility as it can be used not only for ASW and maritime patrol missions but also for search-and-rescue and other humanitarian operations.
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