Additional reporting by Naval News Turkey-based contributor Tayfun Ozberk
The MELTEM-III project has been carried out by Italian company Alenia Aermacchi / Leonardo acting as prime contractor, with a strong participation of the Turkish defense industry. Detailed part production, aircraft modification, material supply, ground and flight test support and Integrated Logistics Support activities are carried out by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). System / device supply is provided by ASELSAN. The aircraft features Link 11 and Link 16 systems developed by Milsoft, and Naval Patrol Ground Station by Havelsan. Thales supplies the AMASCOS-300 mission management system and the Ocean Master 400 radar. The AN/ASQ-508(V) Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) is from CAE.
The contract of the Meltem III Program, covering the procurement of a total of 6 ATR72-600 aircraft and their modification into Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) configuration for the Turkish Navy was signed between Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A and TAI on July, 2012. The first ATR72-600 aircraft arrived at Turkish Aerospace’s facilities on April 19, 2013. The first P72 MELTEM III aircraft was delivered to the Turkish Navy in December 2020. A third aircraft in ASW/MPA configuration (known as ATR 72-600 TMPA) is expected to be delivered this year, as well as another one in “Naval General Purpose” configuration (known as ATR 72-600 TMUA).
“As Defense Industry, we are always on duty in order to protect our national interests in Blue Homeland. Our defense industry has prepared many systems with the aim of improving the possibilities and capabilities of our Naval Forces. Many air, sea, submarine and logistics projects that will add strength to the combat and logistics field of our Naval Forces Command continue. We delivered our second P-72 Maritime Patrol Aircraft within the scope of MELTEM-III Project. Our P-72 Mairitime Patrol Aircraft will serve as the strategic element of our Naval Forces in defense of the Blue Homeland, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean. We will continue to strengthen our Turkish Armed Forces with our new platforms. “
SSB President Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir
About MELTEM III / ATR-72-600 TMPA
The ATR 72-600 TMPA is the Turkish Navy version of Leonardo’s ATR 72ASW (anti-submarine warfare). The Turkish version includes: an AMASCOS-300 (Airborne Maritime Situation Control System) management system, comprising a total of four operator consoles:
- radar operator,
- tactical coordination officer (TacCo)
- acoustic and electronic warfare (EW) operator
- communication operator.
The system is linked to the Ocean Master 400 radar with a range of 190 nm. The system is associated with SAR / ISAR / SPOT-SAR / STRIP-SAR / MMTI capabilities, the AselFLIR 200T FLIR system allowing the identification of surface contacts up to a range of 35 nm, a Sonobuoy Launcher system, TMS- 200 Active / Passive Sonobuoy Processing System (for sonobuoys, capable of listening to 16 sonobuoys simultaneously). An AN / ASQ-508 (V) Anomaly Detector Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) with an antenna length of 4.5m and an antenna weighing almost 50kg, Link-11 / Link data links -16 and a Tactical Data Link Systems. An Aselsan ASES-235 EW Integrated Protection System containing the MILS MW / AN / AAR-60 Missile Warning System and four CMDS AN / ALE-47 decoy launchers.
The avionics include a TCAS II Air Traffic Collision Prevention System, a DR-3000 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) [also works as RWR), GPS, ARS-700 Airborne Rescue Systems and an IFF APX-113.
The ATR-72/600 TMPA aircraft can carry a weapon load on two fuselage pylons including Mk54 and Mk46 Mod 5 lightweight torpedoes. Raytheon has been providing engineering support for the integration ot the torpedoes to the aircraft in accordance with an agreement inked by Alenia Aermacchi and Raytheon in July 2014.
ATR-72/600 TMPA performance
Maximum Take Off Weight: 50,706 lb (23,000 kg)
Maximum Cruise Speed: 250 KTAS (465 Km/h)
Maximum Operational Altitude: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
Max Endurance (at 5,000 ft): 10.00 h (+45′ hold)