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Elbit Systems Wins Contract to Procure Two ATR 72-600 MPA Units for the Philippines

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    Elbit Systems Wins Contract to Procure Two ATR 72-600 MPA Units for the Philippines

    On July 10, Israel's Elbit Systems announced that it had won a contract for the procurement of two Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Elbit Systems did not explain the name of the buyer's country, it only stated that the buyer was a country in Asia Pacific. However, it is strongly suspected that the country in Asia Pacific in question is the Philippines, which so far has purchased a lot of defense equipment from Israel.

    While the type of maritime reconnaissance aircraft offered to the Philippines adopts the ATR 72-600 platform. It was stated that this maritime reconnaissance aircraft will be equipped with a series of mission management systems, electro-optical sensors, maritime surveillance radar, SIGINT (Signal Intelligent) and communication systems. Since 2013, the Philippine Air Force has been looking for a type of long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

    According to Elbit Systems, the contract value for the procurement of the two maritime reconnaissance aircraft reached US$114 million. The well-known defense equipment supply company said that the procurement contract would be completed within five years.

    Elbit Systems' statement indicates that the aircraft is for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), which has an active procurement project for MPA aircraft called LRPA (Long Range Patrol Aircraft). Quoted from, the acquisition program began in 2014 and includes two aircraft with a US$118 million program. 

    However, several times the auction process failed and the program was stopped. Then the program was boosted again in May 2017 with a program value of US$115 million.

    With the acquisition of two units of maritime reconnaissance aircraft based on ATR 72-600 by the Philippines, making the State of Pinoy a candidate for the second ATR 72-600 MPA operator in Southeast Asia. 

    Previously, Malaysia had announced a contract to procure two units of the ATR 72-600 maritime reconnaissance variant at the LIMA (Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition) 2023 event.

    Unlike the Philippines, Malaysia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, handed over the ATR 72-600 MPA contract to Leonardo from Italy. The ATR-72 MPA on order for Malaysia will be equipped with the Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) modular mission system.

    ATOS manages the aircraft's on-board sensors, integrates information gathered and provides mission system operators with a comprehensive and continuously updated tactical overview. Building on the reliable capabilities of the commercial ATR-72, the ATR-72 MPA features an ergonomic design that supports crew efficiency and effectiveness during missions that can typically last more than 8 hours.

    The ATOS mission system is the operational heart of the aircraft. The system integrates all of the aircraft's on-board sensors, acquiring information and sending it to the crew via an optimized human-machine interface (HMI), which allows display of all data collected from on-board sensors in a complete tactical image.

    Other sensors integrated into the ATOS system include an electro-optical sensor turret with color and monochrome cameras, an electronic warfare sensor offering wideband electronic surveillance capabilities, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) and an Airborne Search and Rescue System Direction Finder (ASARS DF).

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