Leonardo and Diamond Aircraft have teamed up to pack much of the Italian aerospace champion’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission management system – normally flown on ATR turboprops – into a smaller, budget package.
First presented here at Paris, the DA62-MSA (Maritime Surveillance Aircraft) is designed for land or sea surveillance in countries that need a more affordable short- to medium-range special mission aircraft. The baseline payload includes Leonardo’s Gabbiano Ultra-Light TS radar and ATOS mission management system, along with a high-definition electro-optic infra-red turret – all integrated into the operator’s touch-screen display.
Fabrizio Boggiani, Leonardo Electronics senior vice president for airborne sensors and mission systems, says the system is designed for one or two operators in addition to the pilot. The 2,300kg MTOW system offers endurance of up to 8hr with four crew.
More than 60 of Leonardo’s ATOS systems are flying on 10 platforms, including full-suite versions on ATR-42s operated by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza customs police – who in addition to battling smuggling and drug trafficking have in recent years grappled with the exodus of people fleeing turmoil in North Africa.