The contract for the upgraded (standard 6) ATL2 combat system was awarded in October 2013 to Dassault Aviation and Thales (co-contractors) by the French Defense Procurement Agency DGA.
The program covers a fleet of eighteen aircraft, eleven of which will be modernized by the French aeronautical maintenance center (SIAé). Seven aircraft will be upgraded between 2019 and 2023 by Dassault Aviation, who chose to rely on the know-how of Sabena technics to support it as a subcontractor on this program.
Sabena technics’ teams will therefore ensure that the modification is carried out on a few of these aircraft, the first of which has just been welcomed at the MRO’s facility in Dinard (France).
We are delighted to welcome the ATL2 in our facilities for the first time. Our technicians were qualified last summer by Dassault Aviation at its Istres center and are now ready to deliver the best quality of service while strictly respecting the deadlines. Following the modification program of the Falcon 50 of the French Navy, today our cooperation extends to a new type of aircraft, to our greatest satisfaction.Philippe Rochet, CEO of Sabena technics.
The ATL2 Standard 6 MPA reached initial operational capacity on 18 December 2020. The IOC validation came at the end of an intense period of operational evaluation conducted by the ATL2 detachment of the CEPA/10S Air Test and Evaluation Squadron of the French Navy. This evaluation revealed a significant capability enhancement, particularly in the field of anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
About ATL2 Standard 6 MPA
For the record, the contract for the upgraded (standard 6) ATL2 combat system was awarded by the defense procurement agency DGA on October 4, 2013. The program covers 18 aircraft, with the French Navy originally fielding 22 “legacy” ATL2s. Dassault Aviation is delivering a total of seven upgraded ATL2s between 2019 and 2023. In parallel, the SIAé aeronautical maintenance center will upgrade 11 aircraft.
The first two aircraft upgraded by Dassault Aviation were delivered to the French Navy in October 2019. A third ATL2 was delivered in April 2020. As part of the qualification trials, a “live” AM39 Exocet air-launched anti-ship missile was test fired by an upgraded MPA in June 2020 (picture above). Moving forward, two more Atlantique 2 “Standard 6” are set to be delivered in 2021 for a total fleet of five operational aircraft by the time the FOC is achieved.
The “Standard 6” upgrade work includes:
- A new radar: The Thales Search Master with active antenna,
- A new acoustic subsystem by Thales: It gathers and processes signals from the latest-generation of sonobuoys for submarine detection,
- A new navigation console designed by Dassault Aviation,
- New consoles for the tactical display subsystem, developed by SIAé
- Full integration of WESCAM MX-30 optronics
The standard 6 upgrade improves the ATL2s’ capability to support the Strategic Oceanic Force (French SSBN fleet), to deal with modern threats (future nuclear or conventional submarines, naval forces at sea, etc.) and to support air-land missions, until 2030. The ATL2 is then set to be replaced by the French-German MAWS program.