The French Directorate General for Armament (DGA, Direction générale de l’armement) announced it had taken delivery of the 10th ATL2 modernized to standard 6 for the French Navy on December 12, 2022. The upgrade concerns the combat system: integration of new technologies, treatment of obsolescence, and restoration of performance to the highest level. This renovation improves the ability of ATL2s to deal with modern threats in the context of strategic deterrence missions or engagements against submarines, fast craft, and land vehicles. The aircraft will soon be delivered to the French Navy (Marine Nationale) at the Lann-Bihoué naval air base.
The “Standard 6” upgrade work includes Thales Searchmaster Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Thales acoustic subsystem, Dassault Aviation navigation console, SIAé tactical display subsystem console and Wescam MX-20 electro-optical (EO) turret. As part of the qualification trials, a “live” AM39 Exocet air-launched anti-ship missile was test-fired by an upgraded MPA in June 2020. Dassault Aviation is delivering a total of seven upgraded ATL2s between 2019 and 2023. In parallel, the SIAé aeronautical maintenance center will upgrade 11 aircraft.
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.
The ATL2 has been in service for twenty or so years, and has undergone several retrofits. A renovation operation is in progress (2019–25); 18 out of the 22 ATL2 Standard 5 operated by the French Navy are upgraded to the new version called ‘Standard 6’.The upgrade is comprehensive and should allow the aircraft to operate until 2035. It includes the development of a new combat system called LOTI-NG. The system is used to establish a tactical picture based on data gathered by the aircraft’s various sensors. The ATL2 is frequently used in Africa where it serves as backup to ground forces.