The French Direction Générale de L’armement (DGA) delivered the third Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), upgraded by Dassault Aviation, Thales, and Naval Group, to the French Navy (Marine Nationale). The aircraft was delivered at the Lann-Bihoué naval airbase in the northwestern French province of Brittany.
The previous two ALT2 aircraft were upgraded to the ‘Standard 6’ and delivered to the French Navy in October of last year. A fleet of 18 aircraft are set to be upgraded in accordance with a contract awarded by the DGA in October. Dassault Aviation is set to deliver an additional four by 2023, while the SIAé Aeronautical Maintenance Center will upgrade another 11.
As part of the ‘Standard 6’ upgrade, the aircraft are to be fitted with new Thales Search Master radars with active antennas, a new acoustic subsystem that can gather and process signals using the latest-generation of sonobuoys for submarine detection, both procured from Thales. In addition, the MPAs will have their navigation consoles upgraded to new models designed by Dassault Aviation, as well as new Tactical Display Subsystem Consoles developed by SIAé.
Dassault Aviation and Thales are the co-contractors installing the upgrade work in association with Naval Group and in cooperation with SIAé. Dassault Aviation serves as the architect of the combat system, while also in charge of developing the core systems, including the LOTI software designed by Naval Group. It also handles the integration of all subsystems.
A collaborative work platform between the four parties set all the specifications for this program using PLM software provided by Dassault Systèmes. The platform is installed at Dassault Aviation’s design office at their Saint Cloud office, outside of Paris.
ALT2 aircraft have been in service with the French Navy since the late 80s. The new upgrade aims to improve the aging aircraft’s ability to support the Strategic Oceanic Force (Force océanique stratégique, FOST), France’s submarine fleet in the Atlantic ocean. ‘Standard 6’ will enable the aircraft to address modern threats at sea and support air-land missions until 2030.