Alenia Aermacchi has delivered its first of two ATR 72-600 utility aircraft to the Turkish navy, as part of a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft acquisition revised by the service earlier this year.
The first Turkish instructor pilots have already completed training on the adapted regional aircraft at the Italian company's Turin-Caselle site in northern Italy, and the remaining transport will be handed over by mid-August.
"Both will be used for utility roles, personnel and cargo logistic transport," Alenia Aermacchi says. The version delivered to Ankara differs from the commercial ATR 72-600 through the addition of military radios, identification friend or foe equipment and tactical mission positions in the cabin, it adds.
The two utility aircraft will be followed by six more ATR 72-600s in a full maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare configuration, with deliveries scheduled to start in February 2017 and conclude in 2018. To be converted for the role by Turkish Aerospace Industries, the armed aircraft will feature the Thales Amascos mission system and a Link 16 datalink.
Turkey earlier this year adapted its Meltem 3 programme acquisition from an original plan to acquire 10 ATR 72s in the -500 production standard.