Pakistan Defence Review: News Updates
‘Sea Eagle’ – The Official Name of the Pakistan Navy’s ATR-72 Maritime Patrol Aircraft
At the 2019 Paris Air Show (17-23 June), the Pakistan Navy (PN), Rheinland Air Service (RAS), and Aerodata exhibited the PN’s ATR-72 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA). The official designation of the PN’s ATR-72 MPA is ‘Sea Eagle’ and is slated to replace the PN’s aging F-27 Fokker MPAs.
The Sea Eagle is configured with the following:
- Leonardo’s Seaspray 7300 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar;
- Aerodata AG’s AeroMission mission management system;
- Elettronica’s electronic support measures (ESM) system;
- FLIR Systems’ Star SAFIRE III electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turret;
- and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability through two torpedo hardpoints.
In a press release, the Director of RAS’ Special Mission Aircraft Division, Nikolaos Mavrikis, stated:
“With its long endurance and low operating costs, along with excellent parts and maintenance availability, the ATR 72 series was the ideal platform to fulfill our client’s most demanding operational needs for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare missions.”
Currently, RAS and Aerodata AG hope that the PN will order up to two additional MPAs. However, the Sea Eagle program could also shape the PN’s plans for a new-generation long-range maritime patrol aircraft (LRMP) to complement and, eventually, supplant the P-3Cs. In an interview, the PN’s Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, stated that the PN is seeking a new LRMP.
One avenue for this LRMP project could involve a bespoke design using commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) subsystems – such as the Leonardo Seaspray AESA radar – and subcontractors to design and execute the project (akin to RAS with the Sea Eagle). It can also use the same subsystems as the Sea Eagle as well, and scale the training and maintenance infrastructure overhead in the process.
Pakistan Orders Aselsan’s Zargana Torpedo Countermeasures Suite for Agosta 90Bs
On 29 May 2019, the Turkish defence electronics vendor Aselsan announced it secured an order from the Pakistan Navy (PN) for its ‘Zargana’ torpedo countermeasures system (Anadolu Agency). The order is part of the PN’s Agosta 90B mid-life-update program, which is due for completion in the early-to-mid-2020s…
Pakistan Chooses Aselsan’s ALPER LPI for Damen Corvettes
On 29 May 2019, the Hürriyet reported that the Pakistan Navy (PN) selected the Aselsan’s ALPER LPI (low-probability-of-intercept) radar for use on its forthcoming Damen OPV 1900s. The Hürriyet also reported that the PN is negotiating with Aselsan to equip at least 10 additional ships with the ALPER…
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