ISLAMABAD --- The second Pakistani ATR-72 overhauled in Germany has been returned to the Pakistani Navy.
In a ceremony at Rheinland Air Service (RAS) headquarters in Mönchengladbach, Germany, the company formally handed over the second ATR-72 back to the Pakistani Navy, following multi-year overhaul. This aircraft follows the first ATR-72 -- redelivered in June of last year and commissioned in December -- and was shown off at the recent Paris International Airshow.
RAS' Nikolaos Mavrikis, who is the director of the special mission division, said in a statement, "The Pakistan Navy has taken delivery of its second RAS 72 MPA, becoming the newest operator of RAS` latest generation airborne platform and Aerodata’s Mission Management system for anti-submarine warfare, based on the cost efficient twin-engine turbo prop ATR 72 platform."
Mavrikis noted, "The two RAS 72 in operation provide our customer with strategic maritime dominance and endorse the defense and maritime security domain of Pakistan. Working closely with the Pakistan Navy, and based on the feedback received from the operators as well as from the naval aviators, we can clearly claim that this program has significantly extended the organisation’s capabilities, modernised their fleet and endorsed the surveillance along the country’s costal border as well as in international waters."
Work began on the aircraft in 2016. Following the overhaul, the aircraft will be better able to detect surface and subsurface targets, as well as relay that information back to command centers. Pakistan will use the upgraded aircraft to support maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare missions.