Pakistan Navy has inducted 3rd state-of-the-art ATR aircraft and Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial System in its fleet to improve effectiveness
KARACHI – Pakistan Navy inducted its 3rd state-of-the-art ATR aircraft and Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial System in its fleet to augment effectiveness and enhance its operational flexibility and reach.
An induction ceremony was held at PNS Mehran, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah was the chief guest.
During the induction ceremony, the Pakistan Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah stated that the induction of the ATR-72 was part of the Navy’s long-term modernization roadmap, Aviation Vision 2030.
‘The induction of Scan Eagle UAV system in Pakistan Navy is yet another major transformation in terms of acquisition of new capabilities. It will definitely start a new era in PN’s operational capability by providing ISR (Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance) and variety of other tasks particularly. These UAVs can monitor entire coastline, including creeks area round-the-clock,’ he added.
The ATR aircraft are modern and widely operated turboprop platforms equipped with state-of-the-art Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), auto pilot and high efficiency six blade propellers. The average ground speed of the aircraft is 250 knots with an endurance of about siz hours.
The addition of ATR aircraft to the PN aviation fleet is a giant leap forward in accelerating the capabilities of the Naval Air Arm, which will provide a low-cost solution to maritime operations.
The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Navy flag officers, civilians, and military dignitaries.
In 2014-2015, Pakistan contracted a German firm – Rheinland Air Service (RAS) – to convert two Pakistan Navy ATR-72s into maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. As per the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP)’s most recent publication, these ATR-72s will be delivered to Pakistan by 2017-2018. It is possible that this third ATR-72 will eventually be sent for conversion, especially since the platform is considered a key part of the Navy’s Aviation Vision 2030 plan.
The Pakistan Navy ordered an undisclosed number of ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from the U.S. in September 2015 for a little over $15 million U.S. (IHS Jane’s). According to IHS Jane’s, Pakistan had expressed interest in the ScanEagle in 2008, and in 2010, the U.S. agreed to open negotiations for it.