The French Defense Procurement Agency (Direction générale de l’armement; DGA) took delivery of two Dassault Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) upgraded to standard 6 this month. The maritime patrol aircrafts were then delivered to the French Navy (Marine Nationale) at the Lann-Bihoué naval air base. Naval News reported that the modernization of the 8th aircraft was done by Sabena, acting as subcontractor to Dassault Aviation. It was delivered on 13 July. The 9th aircraft which was delivered on 21 July was modernized by the SIAé aeronautical maintenance center. A total of 18 ATL2s are set to be upgraded and delivered to the French Navy by 2024.
The Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft designed and manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Breguet Aviation. The Atlantic has been operated by a number of countries, commonly performing maritime roles such as reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. The Atlantic is also capable of carrying air-to-ground munitions to perform ground-attack missions; a small number of aircraft were also equipped to perform ELINT operations. An updated version, the Atlantique 2 or ATL2, was produced by Dassault Aviation for the French Navy in the 1980s. Other operators of the Atlantic have included the German Navy, the Italian Air Force, the Pakistan Navy, and the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The Atlantic is a twin-engined, mid-winged monoplane with a “double-bubble” fuselage; the upper lobe comprising a pressurised crew compartment, and the lower lobe housing a 9 m (27 ft 6 in) long weapons bay, with sonobuoy tubes aft of the weapons bay. A radar scanner is housed in a retractable underfuselage radome, while a magnetic anomaly detector is housed in a tail boom. It is powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Tyne turboprop engines. The Atlantic can carry either eight guided ASW torpedoes such as Mk 46 Torpedo, or 12 depth charges, or two AM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles in its internal bomb bay. German Atlantics usually carried Mk 46s only and flew unarmed during the last years of their service. Italian Atlantics have been periodically armed with NATO-provided nuclear bombs.
In French service, 18 modernised Atlantique ATL2 are being equipped with various new avionics and onboard sensors. The last major element of the Standard 6 upgrade is:
New radar Thales Searchmaster Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
New Thales acoustic subsystem to gather and process signals from the latest generation air-dropped sonobuoys for submarine detection.
New navigation console designed by Dassault Aviation
New consoles for the tactical display subsystem developed by the French army, “SIAé”.
The Wescam MX-20 electro-optical (EO) turret integrated into the combat system.