Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced at the Euronaval 2018 show that the Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft will be modernized in depth, to be both more operational and more numerous.
The Directorate General of Armament (DGA) has just ordered the renovation of six Navy Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft. In total, the fleet of refurbished maritime patrol aircraft will consist of eighteen aircraft, all delivered over the period of the 2019-2025 Military Planning Law.
The DGA awarded contracts to Dassault Aviation and Thales on October 11, 2018 for the upgrade of six Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft (ATL2). The upgrade of the first twelve aircraft has already been contracted, so this new order will bring to eighteen upgraded aircraft the French Navy’s Atlantic 2 fleet, instead of the fifteen originally planned.
This increase in the upgraded fleet increases the capacity of the French Navy to counter the underwater threat that is increasing all over the world, and in particular in our areas of strategic interest.
Under DGA project management, the Atlantic 2 upgrade program provides these aircraft with the performance required for their operational missions until their withdrawal from service after 2030.
The modernization of the aircraft focuses on the replacement of certain equipment with digital equipment derived from the best technologies currently available: tactical computer, optronic and acoustic intelligence systems, and radar. In particular, the new radar -Searchmaster- benefits from the active antenna technology developed by Thales for the Rafale.
In addition to the two co-contractors Dassault Aviation and Thales, the project also involves Naval Group for information processing software and the Aeronautical Industry Service (SIAé) of the Ministry of the Armed Forces for the evolution of the visualization consoles as well as other minor modifications.
The delivery of the first two upgraded ATL2s is scheduled for 2019. The Navy will have all the refurbished aircraft available by 2025.
In addition, initial work on the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) project are already underway in a Franco-German framework to prepare for the succession of the ATL2.
This project, to be launched by 2025, will provide an autonomous, efficient and sovereign maritime patrol capability in Europe by 2030.