First Photo Of Turkish Navy ATR-72 600 ASW Plane

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The first ATR-72 600 ASW plane of Turkish Navy in test flight. Photo: Lidie Berendsen.

It is a joy to see one ATR-72 60 ASW plane in the air  at last. It has been 11 years since the contract was signed.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

TCB701_1 kopya

The saga of the procurement of these planes is longer than the range of the real plane.

The aviation journalist, Mr. Tony Osborne of Aviation Week & Space Technology reported from Farnborough Airshow Turkish ATR-72 maritime patrol program reached a milestone:


At the IDEF defense show in Istanbul in 2013, Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a memorandum of understanding to offer the ATR-72 as a maritime patrol aircraft, with the Italian company supplying the basic airframe and carrying out the final integration and test work, while TAI made modifications to the aircraft and installed mission equipment. To be known as Meltam-IIIs, they will be operated by the Turkish Navy and the first of six ordered will shortly be transferred to Turin, Italy, after fitting out by TAI in Turkey. The aircraft are fitted with the ThalesAirborne Maritime Situation & Control System (AMASCOS) mission system and should be delivered back to Turkey in 2017. Two more ATR-72s have already been supplied to Turkey for utility missions.

IF (yes that is a big if) the planes are delivered as scheduled in 2017 that will make 12 years from the signing of the original contact to the delivery.

In July 2005 Italian Prime Minister Mr. Belosconi and his Turkish counterpart Mr. Erdoğan signed a deal on acquisition of 10 maritime patrol planes based on Alenia’s ATR-72 500 turboprop aircraft. According to the $219-million contract the initial deliveries were supposed to be in 2010.

The first ATR-72 500 arrived in Turkish Aerospace Industries in February 2008. TAI worked as Alenia’s local sub-contractor, carrying out all modifications from the base airframe to the ATR-72 MPA configuration.

In May 2013 suddenly there was a big change in the project. The project was downsized from 10 planes to 8: 2 utility models for personnel and cargo, and 6 armed maritime patrol models. The good part of this rearrangement was the model of the planes were upgraded, from ATR-72 500 which, was no longer in production, to ATR-72 600.

In July 2013 the first utility model was delivered to Turkish Navy. My understanding is, this plane was the original ATR-72 500
delivered to TAI in 2008, and was remodeled to ATR-72 600 in due time.

In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. According to the above quoted article this plane will shortly be transferred back to Alenia for final modification.

These planes will be armed with Mk-46 and Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and will carry Thales AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system.  AMASCOS integrates an array of sensors that include a surveillance turret, Thales’ Ocean Master search radar, an ESM radar/transmitter locator, a Magnetic Anomaly Detector to find submarines, and transmissions from launched sonobuoys.

Hopefully the plane will be in Turkish Navy service by 2017. In the mean time Turkish Navy is considering procurement of new maritime patrol planes with even longer ranges.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

TCB701 kopya

A contract was signed on 2008 to buy 10 ATR 72-500 ASW from Italy. 8 years later we are still waiting patiently for the planes. All we got in the mean time are two unarmed ATR-72-600 planes for utility missions.

TCB652 kopya

6 of these C-235 ASW planes are the backbone of Turkish airborne ASWand AsuW missions. When the acquisition project of these planes started in 1998, CASA was still an independent company, the C-295 has just made its maiden flight and its ASW version did not exist even in the dreams of the CASA/EADS/Airbus Military engineers.  P-8A Poseidon was not even on the drawing board.

ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish Navy is considering the purchase of long-range patrol aircraft to add to its fleet of CN-235 and ATR72s, navy and procurement officials said.
“The requirement comes in line with the government’s foreign policy priorities,” explained one procurement official.
Navy officials say the planned aircraft should be able to fly 1,000 to 1,200 nautical miles away from their main base in Turkey and fly 12 to 15 hours.
“Our current fleet may not respond to our future roles,” said one Navy official. “The new patrol aircraft should ideally have anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles.”
Naval industry sources say the Turkish description of the requirement would probably point to the Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA). The P-8 Poseidon was developed for the US Navy by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX.
The P-8 also conducts shipping interdiction, along with an electronic signals intelligence role which involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. The aircraft is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle.
Procurement officials say they hope to issue a request for information for the planned acquisition soon.
“We are hoping to see a competitive contest,” one official said.
But industry sources say the description of the acquisition narrows options.
“There will not be too many bidders, judging from the description of the requirement,” said one source.

The technical requirement describes a plane that is able to fly 1,000 to 1,200 nautical miles away from their main base in Turkey and fly 12 to 15 hours. As far as I know there is only two planes exist that can fill this expectations. Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon and Ilyushin’s Il-38.

Given the political climate between Turkey and Russia I think a snowball in hell has better odds than Mr. Putin selling military airplanes to Turkey. This leaves us with one real contender: P-8A

I have no idea who the unnamed procurement official was, but I am glad that I am not in his/her shoes. It will be very hard to create an illusion of  competitive contest with one contestant.

Australia paid for 8 P-8A planes USD2.88 billion and India paid for 8 P-8I Neptune (Indian designation) planes USD2.1 billion. If this procurement project goes ahead it will be most expensive acquisitions for Turkish Naval Aviation. There are better places where we can wisely spend a couple billion US Dollars such as the air defence ship project TF-2000.

I will be most surprised if this announced interest in P-8A Poseidon planes materializes into a contract very soon. The acquisitions projects for maritime patrol and ASW planes are beleaguered with massive delays.

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Thales delivers 5 planes and a certificate. Photo: Thales.

Thales delivers 5 planes and a certificate. Photo: Thales.

I am sure that the good people of Thales are in a celebration mood. Here is an excerpt form their press release:

Thales announces the delivery of the final standard for the maritime patrol aircraft to Turkey as part of the MELTEM II programme, for which Thales is the prime contractor. To this day, five of the six aircraft have been delivered to this standard, with the sixth set for delivery before the summer. This follows the three maritime surveillance aircraft which were sent to the Turkish coastguards last year.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Senior Vice President of Thales in charge of Defence Mission Systems, officially handed over the delivery certificate for the aircraft to the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Navy. On this occasion, he highlighted the “strong relationships that have been established throughout the programme with Turkish industry partners, TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft. These have enabled the success of this aircraft transformation programme and pave the way for future partnerships between Thales and the Turkish industry. We’re focusing on developing this close cooperation and are very proud these maritime patrol aircraft reach a technological and operational standard of excellence. The Turkish Navy can now rely on Thales’s state-of-the-art AMASCOS solution to conduct their maritime patrol missions.”

16 years after the maritime patrol plane  project has started and 12 years after Thales was contracted to deliver the AMASCOS,  the five out of total six aircraft of the Meltem project  were finally handed over to the Turkish Navy on 29 April 2014. I am quite sure that Thales and their Turkish partners have developed strong relationship in the last 12 years when they were working to get the things done. They had all the time in the world for building strong relationships.

When the Meltem project started, this and this aircrafts were not even on drawing boards. Since then they have taken off are operational.

Since the start of the Meltem has been beleaguered with delays. The project has 3 parts:

  • Meltem I:  The purchase of three CN-235′s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235′s in AsuW and ASW missions for Turkish Navy. This part of the project started in 1998 and ended in 2002.
  • Meltem II:  The integration of AMASCOS  (Airborne MAritime Situation & Control System) and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. The Thales made AMASCOS  was selected as the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date. The aircraft started to enter into contemporary commission only in 2012 both in Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard. And in 2013 the planes for the Coast Guard were officially commissioned. Yesterday’s ceremony means that this phase is almost ended.
  • Meltem III: When in 2008 the contract was signed for Meltem (III), Aleina was supposed to to deliver ATR-72 ASW planes and integrate the AMASCOS system and the sensors to them. 6 years later all we got are two ATR-72 TMU maritime utility aircraft and a reduction on total number of planes from 10 to 8 including the TMUA’s. The utility planes are by the way unarmed and have no sensors. So they are no good for hunting submarines.

 

I have told in then, I and I am telling it now, the Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

The first ATR-72-600 plane for Turkish Navy at Alenia-Aermacchi factory in Italy.

The first ATR-72-600 maritime utility aircraft for Turkish Navy at Alenia-Aermacchi factory in Italy.

The Turkish Navy has received the first ATR 72-600 Turkish maritime utility aircraft (TMUA) from Alenia Aermacchi on 25 July 2013.

Maritime Utility Aircraft is a very elegant expression and means that the aircraft has neither weapons nor any sensors.

Alenia Aermacchi was awarded the contract to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA and six ATR 72-600 turkish maritime patrol aircraft (TMPA) to the Turkish Navy.
Under the contract, the company will supply the first TMPA to the Turkish Navy in February 2017 while deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2018.
The two ATR 72-600 TMUA, which are undergoing modification at the company’s facilities in Naples, Capodichino and Torino-Caselle, will be used by the Turkish Navy for utility roles and personnel and cargo transport missions.
Fitted with new radios, the TMUA aircraft features an identification friend-or-foe system (IFF) as well as tactical tables and communications equipment for the crew.
“The TMUA aircraft features an identification friend-or-foe system.”
The Turkish aerospace industry will modify the six green ATR72-600 aircraft to ATR 72-600 TMPAs in Ankara, Turkey, by installing specific equipment to meet the Turkish Navy maritime patrol requirement.
Fitted with Thales airborne maritime situation and control system (AMASCOS) mission system, the six ATR 72-600 TMPA multi-role assets will be equipped with automatic identification system (AIS) and link 16 and will also support the latest generation weapon systems such as the Mk 54 light weight torpedo.
The second ATR72-600 TMUA is expected to be delivered within the first half of August while first Turkish Navy flying instructors have completed the new aircraft training at Alenia Aermacchi’s Training Centre in Caselle.

The above text is form the press release of the Italian company. Well originally they were contracted in 8 years ago (in July 2005) to deliver 10 ATR 72-500 airplanes which should have the necessary sensors and weapons to conduct anti submarine warfare.

After 8 years of delays what we have is an unarmed plane for utility work instead of hunting submarines.

In May 2013 the original contract was amended from 10 ATR 72-500 ASW planes to 2 ATR-72 600 TMUA and 6 ATR-72 600 TMPA planes.

I have told in then, I and I am telling it now,  the Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed.

The heavy edited announcement from the Italian aircraft maker Aleina Aermacchi made it sound so nice, it was too good to be true.

Alenia Aermacchi has signed an agreement with Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı (SSM), the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) and six ATR 72-600 TMPA (Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft) to the Turkish Navy. The contract calls for strong industrial collaboration between Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) for the duration of the project.

But the magic lasted only one paragraph.

The agreement is an amendment to a previous deal between Alenia and the Turkish government for the delivery of 10 ATR 72-500 ASW to the Turkish Navy.The most important change into the contract amendment is the adoption of the new -600 version of the ATR 72, the best in class of regional Turboprop. The original contract was based on the now out of production ATR 72-500.

I think the whole Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

When the Project started in 1998, CASA was still an independent company; the C-295 has just made its maiden flight and its ASW version did not exist even in the dreams of the CASA/EADS/Airbus Military engineers. After 16 years we still do not have any fully operational ASW planes for our navy.

And it gets only worse. Last week the Alenia announced that they were going to delivery 8 new planes to Turkish Navy. This is actually BS as two of the planes will be two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) which means in plain English that these planes will carry neither weapons nor any sensors. They will be used cargo planes.

Thanks to the agreement, the Turkish Navy will obtain the last generation ATR72-600 equipped with a glass cockpit as well as more powerful engines that guarantee best performance and supportability for the next 30 years.

The two ATR 72-600TMUA–already in the modification phase at Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Naples-Capodichino–will be used by the Turkish Navy for personnel and cargo transport and will be delivered in June and July 2013 .

In July 2005 a contract was signed to procure 10 ATR-72-500 planes for ASW missions, to be used by Turkish Navy after the first part of the program involving the CN-235 planes was stuck.  8 years later, the Italians realized that they cannot deliver the 10 planes to according to the deal done in the contract so they had to renegotiate the whole deal. Now we get 2 planes less but a newer version of the ATR-72 plane as production of the  -500 variant is discontinued in the mean time.

As the newer -600 version has improved engines it is believed that the performance of the -600 will be superior to the old -500 version. But this fact has to be proven first.

I must give my respects to the PR people of the SSM and Alenia as they deserved it by making a good news from the rotten state of the whole Meltem Project; that is some spin doctoring.

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

TCSG552

The first maritime surveillance plane for the Turkish Coast Guard entered into service. Photos: Savunma ve Strateji Forumu.

15 years after the project has started the first plane of the Meltem project  was finally handed over to the Turkish Coast Guard on 23th January 2013. When the Meltem project started, this and this aircraft were not even on drawing boards. Since then they have taken off.

The plane TCSG-552 is the first of the three planes acquired for the surveillance missions. The planes of the coast guard are equipped with a side looking airborne radar (SLAR), AselFLIR-200,  Ocean Master 400 radar. The remaining two planes will enter into service in 2013.

Since the start of the Meltem has been beleaguered with delays. The project has 3 parts:

  • Meltem I:  The purchase of three CN-235′s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235′s in AsuW and ASW missions for Turkish Navy. This part of the project started in 1998 and ended in 2002.
  • Meltem II:  The integration of AMASCOS  (Airborne MAritime Situation & Control System) and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. The Thales made AMASCOS  was selected as the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date. The aircraft started to enter into contemporary commission only in 2012 both in Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard.
  • Meltem III: The purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor. No aircraft has yet been delivered to the Navy and this stage of the project too encountered some delays already. It is possible that in the end Turkish Navy will get less than 10 planes.

More photos from the maritime surveillance plane:
tcsg552c
tcsg552b

Turkish ASW plane Spotted In Malta

Turkish CN-235 ASW plane under French registration in Mlata on 9th November 2011. Photo: Neil Psaila

If I do not see photos of the CN-235 ASW planes every now and then I would think that the project is dead and everyone have forgotten it.

The ASW plane acquisition project (also known as Meltem project) of Turkish Navy is a very long saga and consist of 3 parts:

Meltem (I): Constructione of three CN-235’s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235’s for AsuW and ASW missions. This has been the only part of the whole MELTEM project, completed so far. All the nine planes were manufactured and delivered between 1998-2003.

Meltem (II): integration of AMASOC and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. Thales made AMASCOS(Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System) was selected and the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date.

Because of the delays in this project Thales accepted to pay fines to Turkey.

Following the discussions initiated in early 2010 on the Meltem maritime patrol aircraft program, Thales and the Turkish Ministry of Defence signed an agreement on 3 March 2011. As expected at the end of 2010, this agreement rescopes all engineering and schedule aspects of the contract. It also provides for financial compensation to be paid by Thales (penalties and extra work to be undertaken free of charge). Consequently, the financial assumptions taken into account in the 2010 financial statements were maintained at 30 June 2011.

Meltem (III): purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor.

Under Meltem III Program, the first ATR72-500 aircraft arrived at  Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), on 14th February 2008. The contract of the Meltem III program, covering the procurement of a total of 10 ATR72-500 aircraft and their change into Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) configuration for the Turkish Navy was signed between Alenia Aeronautica S.p.A and TAI on December 21, 2005. Alenia has started to manufacture the planes. But the stage of the integration of ASW suite is not clear.

In my humble opinion the project is as disastrous as the Pananikolis project of the neighbor.

>Turkish ASW Plane Spotted In Malta

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According to Air Forces Monthly magazine, Turkish Navy CN-235 MPA plane, TCB-652, now  with French test registration was photographed visiting Malta, back in November 2010.

Two years after the first flight of the aircraft the tests are still continuing.

The ASW plane acquisition project (also known as Meltem project) of Turkish Navy is a very long saga and consist of 3 parts:

  • Meltem (I): purchase of three CN-235’s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235’s in AsuW and ASW missions. This has been the only part completed so far.
  • Meltem (II): integration of AMASOC and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. Thales made AMASCOS(Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System) was selected and the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date.
  • Meltem (III): purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor.

Turkish Airforce operates 50 CN-235 planes for troop and VIP transport, SIGINT/ELINT and CSAR missions. When this plane was chosen for the Meltem (I) project this decision was criticised.

The critics stated that CN-235 was not able to fulfill the operational demands of Turkish Navy as her performance was not up to this demands. When ATR-72 ASW plane was chosen from Meltem (III) the claims of the opponents seemed to be right.

Turkish Navy retired its last Grumman S-2E Tracker ASW planes 16 years ago and urgently needs patrol planes for maritime surveillance, monitoring territorial Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters, for detecting all forms of illicit trade and trafficking, accidental pollution and oil dumping, and for search-and-rescue operations.

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