Pakistan Navy’s induction ceremony for state-of-the-art maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) took place on Saturday with Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, as the chief guest.
The addition of marinized ATR aircraft and LUNA NG UAVs will significantly enhance the operational capabilities of the Pakistan Navy’s air arm, said Admiral Zafar Mahmood during the induction ceremony. He also shed light on the Navy’s future development plans regarding the acquisition of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV).
The MPA known as RAS-72 Sea Eagle comes equipped with the following:
- Leonardo Seaspray 7300E Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar
- Elettronica’s Electronic Support Measures (ESM) suite
- FLIR Systems’ Star SAFIRE III Electro-Optical and Infrared (EO/IR) turret
The contract for aircraft was awarded to Rheinland Air Service (RAS) in 2016 and the first reconfigured ATR was inducted into Pakistan Navy’s fleet in 2018. The anti-submarine warfare (ASW) enabled MPA can deploy lightweight ASW torpedoes and offers the crew situational awareness across multiple areas.
In addition, another ATR has been inducted for the cargo/para-drop role to serve during the special forces’ operations.
Talking about the UAVs, Pakistan Navy told that these are lightweight and used to monitor its creeks and coastal areas. The LUNA NG can fly for over 12 hours with payload options include synthetic aperture radar (SAR), signals intelligence (SIGINT), ESM, and EO/IR.
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