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First Flight of the Nigerian Air Force ATR 42-500MP Patrol Aircraft

On September 1 2009, the first Alenia Aeronautica ATR 42-500MP destined to the Nigerian Air Force made its first flight, from Brindisi to Turin. The “green” aircraft was equipped with mission systems at the Alenia Aeronautica facility in Brindisi. The Turin/Caselle plant will be responsible of the flight-testing and delivery of the aircraft.
In June, 2007, the Italian company signed with Nigeria a contract, valued 73 million USD, for the supply of two ATR 42-500MP Surveyor maritime patrol aircraft. The two airplanes have no armament and will be delivered starting from 2009. They will be used by the Nigerian Air Force over their exclusive economic zones, for search and rescue and for marine environmental control.
The contract includes also training for pilots and system operators, logistic support at the operational base – Benin City, at around 400 km from Lagos - and procurement of spare parts.
The Nigerian ATR 42-500MP aircraft are similar to the version already in service with the Italian Coast Guard, equipped with ATOS, Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance System made by Galileo Avionica, which includes search radar and also EOST 45, electro optic surveillance and tracking sensor, produced by the same company. Furthermore, unlike the aircraft already in service in Italy, they are equipped with an hatch on the cabin floor suited to air-drop salvage equipment.

In the picture: Alenia Aeronautica ATR 42-500MP C.S.X62262 of the Nigerian Air Force lands at Turin/Caselle airport (September. 2009). (Aeromedia)

(Aeromedia, September 2009)