Operating under the name P-72B, the aircraft represents a new frontier in maritime patrol aircraft and comes equipped with Leonardo’s very latest security and surveillance systems. To mark the occasion of the delivery of the fourth and last P-72B to the Guardia di Finanza, an unveiling ceremony was held in Turin, at the Leonardo Aircraft site in Caselle Torinese. The contract signed with GdF included a total order for four aircraft, training and logistical support, with deliveries to be completed by 2022. The commercial origins of the aircraft also ensure crew members enjoy a level of ergonomics and comfort, which help improve efficiency and efficacy during search and identification operations, maritime patrol, counter drug trafficking, piracy, smuggling, and protecting the country’s territorial waters.
Marco Zoff, Managing Director of the Leonardo Aircraft Division said,”A success story with long-established roots, based on strong teamwork, constant discussion and cooperation. The accomplishment we are celebrating today is just one of many steps in the aircraft’s long and ongoing evolution process, and we are ready to consider any potential new requirements to respond to our client’s needs.”
General B. Mariano La Malfa, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Guardia di Finanza said,”The aircraft will provide Italy’s custom police with a complete asset of cutting-edge technologies. A reason for pride, but also for reflection on the challenges that lie ahead as we continue on the path of the platform’s technological advancement, while guaranteeing the utmost operational efficacy.”
The Guardia di Finanza (Guard of Finance, Financial Guard) is an Italian law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance. It is a militarized police force, forming a part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, not the Ministry of Defence. The Guardia di Finanza is the only general-duty police force that exercises constant and effective surveillance of the country’s entire coastline and international waters, which it carries out also thanks to the advanced technological equipments on board its aircraft. Guardia di Finanza is essentially responsible for dealing with financial crime and smuggling; it has also evolved into Italy’s primary agency for suppressing the illegal drug trade. It maintains over 600 boats and ships and more than 100 aircraft to serve in its mission of patrolling Italy’s territorial waters.
The new-generation functions installed on the ATR 72MP will help the Guardia di Finanza carry out specific surveillance tasks. Using onboard sensors, the P-72B will perform sea and air patrols and search and rescue missions to locate and identify sensitive targets, monitor their behaviour, obtain evidence, and guide the intervention of naval units and ground patrol teams. The ATR 72MP is equipped with the ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system, developed entirely by Leonardo, which manages the aircraft’s wide range of sensors and provides operators with a complete and constantly up-to-date picture of the situation. The aircraft will be operated by the Guardia di Finanza air service to perform the many services the law enforcement agency provides.