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Br 1150 Atlantique
Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA 2000)

The Dassault-Breguet Atlantique is the long-range reconnaissance aircraft of the French Navy. This long-range naval patrol aircraft is a European collaboration, built under the supervision of Dassault Aviation. The Atlantique is the standard sea reconnaissance aircraft and sub hunter in many NATO countries. Although primarily used for anti-submarine duties, the Atlantic can carry AS-1 2 or Martel missiles for use against surface targets. It is fitted with antiship-missiles, ASW-weapons, sonar buoys and a magnetic anomaly detector [MAD]. This aircraft is remarkable for being the only maritime patrol aeroplane in the world specially designed for its mission and not just a derivative of a commercial civil aircraft.

Atlantic 1

The Atlantic is an aircraft with a take-off weight of 43.5 metric tons, powered by two Tyne turboprop 5,500 hp engines. Its 12-man crew conducts missions that can last up to 18 hours over flight distances of approximately 8,000 km, covered at a maximum speed of 650 km/h.

On 14th December 1956, the members of the NATO Council stipulated that, as a successor to the American aircraft Lockheed P 2V-7 Neptune, they needed a long-range maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine warplane. In 1958, all 15 NATO countries approved a design for a common maritime patrol aircraft to be manufactured by a multinational consortium. However, the US Navy adopted the Orion instead and the British and Belgians withdrew from the program also. On 30th January 1959, the NATO Armaments Committee unanimously selected, out of the 21 projects presented, the Breguet Br 1150 Atlantic program.

Manufacturing work was divided between the four participating countries:

  • Breguet and Sud-Aviation in France;
  • Fokker in the Netherlands;
  • Dornier and Siebel in West Germany;
  • SABCA, Fairey et Fabrique Nationale (FN) Herstal in Belgium.

The Tyne turboprop engines were supplied by the partner companies Rolls-Royce, Snecma Hispano, FN and MTU, while electronics came from the United States. The assembly line and flight preparation of aircraft were located in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne, France) at Breguet.

The official purchase order for the first lot was communicated on 06 June 1963: 20 aircraft for France, ultimately increased to 40 aircraft, and 20 for West Germany. The final aeroplane out of the 60 was delivered at the end of 1968 at the moment that the Netherlands decided to procure nine. The French Navy immediately sold them four, while the five others would come from a second production series launched in January 1972. On 25 October 1968, Italy decided in turn to purchase the aircraft and became an associate in the European consortium through Aeritalia and Alfa-Romeo. Production was relaunched for 18 aircraft, plus 4 intended to replace those sold by France to the Netherlands. In 1976, the French Navy sold three of its aircraft to Pakistan.

Atlantic 2 / Atlantique 2 (ATL 2)

The Atlantic 2 long range maritime patrol aircraft, specifically designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASUW), is derived from the NATO Atlantic Mk 1 (ATL 1). This new variant of the Atlantique family aimed at all international, and especially European, programs for the acquisition or replacement of naval patrol airfleets. It features advanced sensors (Radar, ESM, Acoustic, FLIR and MAD), supported by a distributed data processing system architecture (redundant mutiplex data bus, digital computer, multipurpose displays). A total of 28 ATL 2s have been ordered for the French Navy; 23 of these were in service as of 1999.

The In the middle of the '70s, in order to confront the increasing threat represented by the development of submarines and surface vessels, the French Navy decided to put the new generation Atlantics into service.

Two ATL 2 prototypes were made on the base of two Atlantics of the first production batch (numbers 42 and 69). They were modified to carry the different parts of the new weapons system and equipped with improvements planned for the production standard. The ATL2 made its first flight at Toulouse-Blagnac on May 8, 1981, piloted by Jacques Jesberger, flight engineer Jean-Pierre Bussenot and flight engineer Pierre Harquin.

In June 1982 the Ministry of Defense announced the official production launch of the ATL 2. Running two years behind the schedule that had been set (May 1984) for budgetary reasons, the industrial contract was notified, and orders for production limited to 28 aircraft. This caused a very slow start and a low rate of yearly production: one aircraft every two months.

The ATL 2's airframe was produced by the European Consortium SECBAT ( Dornier and MBB for West Germany, Dassaut-Breguet and Aérospatiale for France, Aeritalia for Italy and SABCA-SONACA for Belgium). The Tyne turbopropos were made in cooperation with Great Britain (Rolls-Royce), France (Snecma) and Belgium (FN). The first production model was delivered to the French Navy in October 1989.

Atlantic 3

Updated manufacture of new aircraft integrates the latest technology both in platform design and in weapons systems: the ATLANTIC 3. The ATL3 project was activated in answer to the German/Italian MPA 2000 program, designed to provide a replacement for those countries' ATL1s. The ATL3 proposal is based on an ATL2 airframe, featuring new Rolls-Royce/Allison AE2100H turboprops and a glass cockpit, as well as modernised mission equipment. In 1996 Dassault offered its Adantic Third Generation (ATL3G) maritime-patrol aircraft (MPA) to the German, Italian and French navies. The three forces, which already operate earlier versions of the Atlantic, require a total of around 50 aircraft between 2005 and 2010.

Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA 2000) MPA Replacement Program

Italy was working in conjunction with Germany to achieve a combined MPA replacement program for their Atlantic fleets. However, the coalition was discontinued around the year 2005 due to budget problems. Germany had negotiated with Italy to set up a common program that could cover 24 aircraft (14 for Italy, 10 for Germany). The MPA - Replacement program had been designed to replace the Breguet Atlantics of the German and Italian navies. This program had been postponed several times, which meant retrofitting the existing Atlantic 1. Nevertheless, the age of these aircraft - over thirty years old - made their replacement ever more urgent.

The Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft BR 1150 Atlantic is in service with the German and Italian armed forces for many several years. According to 1996 plans of the German and Italian ministries of defense, this type of aircraft was to be replaced by a modern aircraft by the year 2007. Dasa's Military Aircraft Business Unit, which had been proposed as the German systems leader, was on talks with Alenia Aerospazio, the proposed Italian systems leader. The MoU was to harmonize concepts of both companies for a possible mission equipment. Additionally both companies will share their experiences in definition, integration, and maintenance of the MPA 2000 aircraft.

Besides a re-design of the aircraft, a major role plays the the realization of a modern mission equipment. Core element is to be the so-called Tactical Command System (TCS). TCS bases on most modern computer technology. It eases the work of the on-board specialists by automatization of the sensor control and surveillance and increases the mission efficiency of the whole reconnaissance system and its flexibility in the face of changing situation by a modern, ergonomic man-machine-interface. TCS is supported by a stationary ground system, the Maritime Air Operations Center, as well as its transportable version, the Transportable Air Operations Center. Both systems are part of the planning, surveying and evaluating process of a mission as well as the interpretation of retrieved information in order to form a situation synopsis.

Due to similar requirements for a successor to MPA by the Italian armed forces, the first German Italian contacts began in 1994 to determine a possible common procurement of new MPA. The operational requirements of the two navies have been harmonised in another GE-IT talks. For cost reasons, an aircraft designed specifically for MPA tasks is intended as the starting point for aircraft interior. With a modular design, a low-cost modification is expected.

To reduce costs further, a "pooling" of shares in weapon systems is possible, where it is economical and appropriate (e.g. Joint Logistics, common from bildungszentren, software maintenance, etc.). In May 1995, a "GE IT Joint Declaration" could be signed by the heads which provides for joint cooperation in the procurement and the use of weapon systems units. As another milestone on the road of joint cooperation for development and procurement of new MPA that was in January 96 "com-mon outline European staff target" signed at Admirals-/ General level.

The described with this document and more reminiscent of PAPS approach provides for the establishment of a bilateral "project group". It should be made to bilateral Realisierbarkeits studies on the basis of a "feasibility MoU signed until summer of the year". The start of the definition phase was planned for early 1999. An opening of the first bilateral cooperation to a multinational European Community of the MPA was aimed at.

The entire program, in the definition phase as of 2000, has been valued at almost Euro 3.5 billion. As of 2000, development was projected to begin in 2002, with delivery in Germany from 2007 and in Italy from 2008. The creation of EADS could lead to the extension of the program to France, as the French Navy also wished to modernize its Atlantique 2 planes, change their systems and replace their engines, depending on the decision of the respective Ministries of Defense.

The MPA320 was a state-of-the art modern concept, designed by EADS M (based on A320) as the leading edge for the next generation MPA. The main competition was Lockheed Martin, L-3 and Boeing.

By 2005 Germany was operating 16 Dornier and Siebel Br 1150 Atlantics. First introduced in 1966, these platforms were to continue until 2012 with 12 platforms configured for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Maritime Patrol (MP) while the remaining 4 are used for Electronic and Signals Intelligence (ELINT / SIGINT). As a replacement for the ASW / MP Br 1150s Germany purchased 8 P-3C Orions from the Royal Netherlands Navy for $355 million, and took delivery between November 2005 and March 2006. The ELINT / SIGINT Br 1150s may be replaced by either High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) or Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV program.

By 2005 Italy was operating 13 Br1150 Atlantics and hadd an additional 5 in store. These aircraft were due to be replaced in 2012, but Italy had not announced how it intended to proceed. In December 2008 the Italian Air Force signed the contract for the supply of four ATR 72MPs. These aircraft will carry out tasks of surveillance, maritime patrol and SAR. The new aircraft are going to replace the Breguet Atlantic in service.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:51:37 ZULU