Libya Buys ATR-42MP Patrol Aircraft
“The French Connection: Libya Seeking Arms Deals” covered Libya’s growing reintegration with the international community, and the follow-on sales opportunities to replace its dilapidated military infrastructure. On Jan 17/08, Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica announced [PDF] that Libya’s Interiors Ministry has signed a EUR 31 million (about $45.5 million) contract for one (1) ATR-42MP Surveyor maritime patrol aircraft, plus pilot and systems operator training, logistic support, and spare parts.
The aircraft will be delivered during 2009, and will be used by the Libyan General Security Agency for territorial surveillance and control. Its configuration will be similar to the 5 ATR-42MP aircraft in service with the Italian Coast Guard, with a mission system that includes a maritime radar, an electro-optical sensor set, and the ability to air-drop equipment for sea rescue. It is designed for sea surveillance, search & rescue, sea-pollution monitoring (incl. oil spills and chemical substances), and national waters and economic exclusive zones control.
The ATR 42 MP is a maritime patrol version of EADS ATR-42 regional transport turboprop, developed by and proprietary to Alenia Aeronautica. The ATR family is currently the world’s most widely-sold regional turboprop aircraft, and the ATR-42MP has now been ordered by Italy (4 customs police, 2 coast guard), Nigeria (2), and Libya (1). It competes with aircraft like EADS-CASA’s CN-235MPA Persuader, and derivatives of Bombardier’s Dash-8/Q200.