Italian Atlantic preserved

Serenely loating along under an S-64F helicopter, Atlantic MM40118 heads towards its inal resting place at Vigna di Valle on 18 October.

On 18 October the last Breguet Br1150 Atlantic to ly with the Italian military arrived at the Italian Air Force Museum at Vigna di Valle, just north of Rome, following a 40-mile inal light under a National Fire Corps Erickson S-64F helicopter. The machine, MM40118, was one of 18 examples of this maritime patrol aircraft that were lown by mixed Italian Air Force/Navy crews between 1972 and 2007.

It had been lown to Pratica di Mare air base, on the Tyrrhenian coast south of Rome, after being retired from use with the 41º Stormo Antisom (41st Anti-submarine Warfare Wing) at Sigonella, Sicily, in November 2017.

Italy’s inspector of naval aviation, Generale Carlo Moscini, welcomed the Atlantic to Vigna di Valle, stating, “The Atlantic rightly joins the prestigious leet of the Italian Air Force Museum. The operational activity carried out by the aircraft in the antisubmarine role has been amazing, over 45 years of service totalling more than 260,000 lying hours.” The irst Italian Air Force Atlantic was delivered to Sigonella on 27 June 1972, the type lying on maritime patrol, anti-submarine and search and rescue duties, primarily over Mediterranean waters. They also lew on many NATO exercises, the irst being ‘Dawn Patrol’ in June 1973 — which also saw No 617 Squadron Vulcans and No 12 Squadron Buccaneers deploying to Malta — and the last the antisubmarine warfare exercise Operation ‘Dynamic Manta’ in the Mediterranean during March 2017. Latterly the type was oficially designated as the P-1150A in Italian service. The Atlantic’s replacement is the Leonardo P-72A, a variant of the ATR-72-600 airliner.