Having completed the final acceptance phases with the flight test committee, the aircraft along with the user manuals and spare parts, will leave for the Nigerian Base of Benin City, which is approximately 400 Km from Lagos.
The original contract, signed in March 2007 and worth around $73 million, envisaged the delivery of the aircraft in the maritime patrol configuration; a provision for the necessary training for pilots and operators; as well as the delivery of a series of ground equipment (Ground Support Equipment) and of spare parts necessary to ensure the airplaneâ€™s efficiency and reliability for patrol missions.
Along with the first unit, this aircraft was received in a â€œgreenâ€ configuration by the ATR Joint Venture at their Toulouse facility, then configured in Alenia Aeronauticaâ€™s plants where the structural and systems
modifications were made.
Alenia Aeronauticaâ€™s Turin-Caselle site has performed the installation and integration of the aircraft systems and sensors included in the maritime patrol configuration. Flight tests were also conducted at AleniaÂ Aeronauticaâ€™s Turin-Caselle site. The ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance System) mission system that is installed onboard the aircraft was developed by SELEX Galileo (a Finmeccanica company) and includes stations for mission operators, calculators and displays to control the mission, as well as main sensors, such as search radar and electro-optical devices.
The aircraft are being used by the Nigerian Air Force to accomplish the typical patrolling missions, such as reconnaissance, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) control, search and rescue (SAR).
The good relationship with the Nigerian Customer may offer opportunities for further development in terms of configuration update for the existing aircraft and Logistic Support activities to maintain the fleetâ€™s operational capabilities.