Nine (out of a total of 18) Atlantique 2 aircraft have received the upgrade so far. The ninth upgraded aircraft was delivered in July this year. Those nine MPAs can now conduct their entire range of missions in an operational context.
“On November 10th, Admiral Vandier [Ed. Note: The head of the French Navy] signed the operational entry into service of the Atlantique 2 standard 6, the latest version of the maritime patrol aircraft. This attests to the ability of the aircraft to conduct the entire spectrum of missions assigned to it.French Navy statement
Standard 6 offers new capabilities to the 9 aircraft that have been modified. They have already demonstrated their effectiveness during operations in the Baltic, in the Mediterranean, in the Gulf of Guinea, but also off the French approaches in the context of maritime defense of the territory.
This in-depth renovation of the Atlantique 2 makes it a competitive tool in the face of modern threats. Thus, until their end of life, by 2035, the 18 aircraft brought to standard 6 will allow France to remain at the level of its most efficient allies.”
About Atlantique 2 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
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 was set to be replaced by the French-German MAWS program. However, following Germany’s decision to procure the P-8A as an “interim” solution, rumor has it that France could develop its own MPA platform based on the new Falcon 10X by Dassault Aviation. Naval News understands