Italy's Guardia di Finanza has ordered a further three ATR 72MP maritime patrol aircraft for dedicated surveillance duties.
The contract, worth €150m, was signed on October 9 and will see the supply of a further three ATR 72MP aircraft, alongside related technical and logistic support services. In total, the Guardia di Finanza has ordered four aircraft, with the first expected to be delivered by the end of 2019. The other three are due to be delivered before 2022.
The Guardia di Finanza is an Italian militarised law enforcement agency which operates under the authority of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. It will employ the aircraft on maritime/land patrols, along with research missions. Using onboard sensors, crew members can identify sensitive objects, monitor behaviour and acquire evidence which the Guardia di Finanza can use.
Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said: "We are proud that Guardia di Finanza has chosen to rely once again on our ATR 72MP, an aircraft which fully represents Leonardo's technological capabilities in terms of design and integration of platforms and systems at the highest levels."
Lucio Valerio Cioffi, managing director of Leonardo's Aircraft Division, said: "The ATR 72MP combines reliability, low operating costs, all the advantages of the ATR 72-600 regional passenger transport aircraft together with a state-of-the-art mission system."
The ATR 72MP is already in service with the Italian military. A variant designated the P-72 serves the Italian Air Force in a maritime patrol role. This variant has also assisted in search and rescue (SAR), as well as countering drug trafficking and smuggling. ATRs have also been exported to the navies of Pakistan and Turkey.
The Italian air arm's variant is equipped with Leonardo's Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) mission system, which manages a variety of aircraft sensors and combines information received in a tactical environment and presents it to system operators.