ATR 42 Surveyor
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
EUR€31 million (USD$33 million)
Also Known As: ATR 42 MP
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Description: In the early 1980s Alenia Aeronautica of Italy, a Finmeccanica company, and EADS/Airbus France founded a joint venture company, ATR (Avions de Transport Régional/Regional Transport Airplanes), to compete in the regional market with a new family of twin-turboprop passenger aircraft. The ATR 42 model entered service in 1985 followed by the increased seating capacity ATR 72 in 1989 all together these aircraft cover the range of 40 to 70 seats.
The high-wing ATR 42/72 family of aircraft provides high degree of passenger comfort, operational flexibility, spare parts commonality, and low operating costs while delivering outstanding performance. In 1996, ATR launched the -500 series aircraft which marked the beginning of a new generation ATR 42/72 characterized for savings in terms of training, maintenance operations, spare parts supply and cross crew qualification. In addition, existing ATR 42/72 aircraft can be converted into freighters - ATR 42 F and ATR 72 F - with a cargo door at the front of the aircraft or an optional large cargo door.
As of July 2005, more than 739 ATR 42/72 aircraft have been ordered from 125 operators in 72 countries with around 680 airplanes already delivered. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100 turboprop engine family is the primary motorization for the ATR 42/72 family with the latest variant the PW127 powering the newest ATR 72-500 aircraft. Wide use of composite in latest models has translated into reduced airframe weight and improved overall performance.
The ATR 42 Surveyor, also known as the ATR 42 MP, is a derivative of proven ATR 42 commercial aircraft developed to conduct maritime patrol missions and coastal surveillance. It can load the wide spectrum of equipment required to conduct that kind of missions such as radar, FLIR, TV camera, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Communications and Navigation systems. In addition, bubble panoramic windows have been provided to the Surveyor for optimal visual observation of the environment.
The ATR 42 Surveyor can remain on station for up to 8 hours at 200 nautical miles from its base airfield. To do so, the aircraft cruises at low loiter speed which facilitates target detection and tracking while it can change to higher speed at any time. The Italian Customs service ordered two ATR 42 MP and the Italian Coast Guard an undisclosed number of airplanes to protect Italy's Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ).
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