The first two P-72A maritime patrol aircraft were delivered to the Aeronautica Militare Italiana’s (AMI, Italian Air Force) 41 Stormo at Sigonella by Leonardo-Finmeccanica on December 13.
The aircraft, which are based on the successful ATR72-600 airliner, incorporate the latest version of the Leonardo-Finmeccanica Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) mission system and will replace the Breguet Atlantic in AMI service.
The contract for four aircraft was originally signed for an aircraft based on the ATR72-500. However, following development of the new ATR72-600, the deal was modified in 2014 to cover supply of four P-72As based on the latest variant.
Deliveries of the remaining two will be completed during the course of 2017 and, in addition to maritime patrol missions, the aircraft can also be used to combat drug trafficking, piracy and smuggling or to provide support in the event of ecological disasters.