As part of these 18-month studies, each valued at 10.9 million euros, the two aircraft manufacturers must offer a commercially attractive solution that meets the operational requirements of the French Navy for the period after 2030.
The A320neo “is the most suitable platform among Airbus’ extensive airliners portfolio to be converted in order to respond to the full range of missions of the French Navy. It would be designed for long range maritime patrol (MPA) including the most demanding anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface (ASuW) missions,” Airbus said on its social networks.
These solutions should remain open to collaboration with other potentially interested European partners, the French DGA said. The innovations examined in these studies may be linked to the improvement of sensors, communication systems, the introduction of artificial intelligence- based logic, or the integration of weapons, especially the future anti-ship missile.
This work will contribute to discussions on future Patmar capacity, scheduled to start in 2026, with a view to a new fleet in the decade 2030-2040.
The Patmar program is intended to replace the 22 Atlantique 2 (ATL2) aircraft operated by the French Navy at Lann-Bihoué Naval Air Station.