Monday, April 27, 2015

The Top 10 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

P-3 Orion

The P-3 Orion is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) with multimission capabilities. Its 16-hour fly-time and high ferry range of 8,944km make it the top MPA in the world. The aircraft was developed by Lockheed Martin principally for the US Navy. The aircraft entered service in 1962 and is currently in service with 21 operators in 17 countries across the globe.

The aircraft can conduct variety of missions such as maritime / over-land patrol, anti-submarine warfare, anti-piracy, anti-terrorism, drug interdiction and prevention of illegal immigration. Lockheed Martin offers a P-3 Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) programme to extend the aircraft's service life by 20 to 25 years.

The aircraft can be equipped with infrared and electro-optical (EO) sensors, as well as special imaging radar to detect objects at long ranges. Its large internal weapons bay and 10 external hard-points can house a range of weapons. Four Allison T56-A-14 engines provide the P-3 Orion a long-range cruise speed of 350kt at 25,000ft.

CN-235 MPA / HC-144 Ocean Sentry

The CN-235 MPA is a multirole maritime patrol aircraft deployed in maritime surveillance and homeland security missions. It also served as basis for the HC-144A Ocean Sentry surveillance aircraft used by the US Coast Guard.

The aircraft's long endurance capability of up to 11 hours and range of 4,200km make it one of the best MPAs in the world. Two General Electric GE CT7-9CE turboprop engines, each with a rated power of 1,750shp, ensure superior performance.

The CN-235MPA incorporates a Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) which can be integrated with variety of mission sensors for conducting complex surveillance missions. The aircraft features six hard-points to carry anti-ship missiles or torpedoes.

ATR 42 MP Surveyor

Alenia Aermacchi developed the maritime patrol aircraft ATR 42 MP Surveyor based on the ATR 42 short-haul regional airliner. The ATR 42MP is currently operated by the Italian Customs Police (Italian Guardia di Finanza), Italian Coast Guard, Nigerian Air Force and Libyan General Security Agency.

The aircraft has a ferry range of 3,741km and can conduct non-stop patrols for up to 11 hours. It integrates Advanced Tactical Observation System (ATOS) mission management system. The state-of-the-art mission system, along with onboard sensors, enables the aircraft to conduct a variety of missions, such as identification and tracking of vessels, maritime and coastal surveillance, SAR and pollution detection missions.

The aircraft is powered by two PW 127E engines, each with a take-off power 2,160shp. The maximum cruise speed of the aircraft is 280kt.


The AN-74MP was developed by ANTONOV based on its AN-74 transport aircraft. The maritime patrol aircraft ensures security across coastal areas in all weather conditions. It can also be used for search and rescue (SAR), electronic and radio reconnaissance and for detection of marine pollution.

The aircraft is equipped with integrated sight navigation and flight system, radio communication equipment and television system. The GSh-23L 23mm Cannon, unguided missiles, aerial bombs and optional anti-ship missiles onboard the aircraft ensure interception of threats. Self-defence is provided by electronic counter measures, self protection system, radar warning receiver, laser warning and missile approach warning systems.

The 7m-long cargo compartment can accommodate 44 armed infantrymen and 16 stretchers, plus a medical attendant and a payload of up to 10,000kg. It also allows the air drop of 22 fully-laden paratroopers. The power-plant integrates two D-36-4A turbojet engines providing a maximum speed of 725km/h, range of 3,704km and endurance of eight to nine hours.

Saab 2000 MPA

The Saab 2000 MPA is a multimission maritime surveillance aircraft capable of conducting ISR, Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance (MSAR), maritime boarder security and anti-surface warfare missions. High dash speed and long endurance capabilities make the Saab 2000 MPA an ideal maritime patrol aircraft.

The Saab 2000 MPA comes with an advanced sensor and C4I package comprising of 360° rotating maritime surveillance radar, multimode electro-optical sensor, Automatic Identification System (AIS), Identify Friend of Foe (IFF), Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Self Protection System (SPS), SATCOM and data link.

The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 350kt and patrol speed of 160kt. It can endure airborne for more than 9.5 hours. It can conduct patrols in an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200nm for 5.5 hours, while flying at an altitude of 2,000ft. Maximum range of the aircraft is more than 3,700km.

C295 MPA

The C295 MPA is a versatile maritime patrol aircraft developed by EADS CASA (now Airbus Military). The aircraft can be deployed in maritime patrol, EEZ surveillance, SAR and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions. It is in service with Chilean Navy, Portuguese Air Force and Royal Air Force of Oman.

The Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) aboard the C295 MPA integrates aircraft navigation and communications systems, radar, EO/IR turret, acoustic system, magnetic anomaly detector (MAD), AIS, IFF interrogator, ESM/electronic intelligence, weapon system and a sea pollution detection system.

The under-wing stations of C295 MPA can be armed with anti-ship missiles and torpedoes for striking surface and sub-surface targets. The power-plant integrates two PW127G turboprop engines. The aircraft can patrol a range of 1,800nmi (3,333km) and can stay airborne for more than eight hours, depending on the configuration.


The ATR 72 MP (Maritime Petrol) aircraft, based on the ATR 72-600 platform, was developed by Alenia Aermacchi. The aircraft is primarily deployed in surveillance and reconnaissance, maritime patrol and Search and Rescue (SAR) missions. It is in service with the Italian Air Force.

The ATR 72 MP can operate in extreme temperatures, altitudes and environmental conditions. It is equipped with SELEX Galileo ATOS Mission System, which is interfaced with onboard sensors and equipment to perform electronic surveillance, optical reconnaissance, vessel identification and pollution detection.

The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 127M turboprops. Each engine driving a six-bladed, variable-pitch propeller provides a maximum cruise speed of 248kt and an endurance of 10 hours.

EMB 145 MP

EMB 145 MP is a new-generation multirole aircraft produced by Embraer to meet the challenging requirements of maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. Derived from ERJ 145 platform, the aircraft can be configured for maritime patrol and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions.

The EMB 145 MP's open architecture allows for integration of mission systems according to the customer's requirements. Its under-wing hard-points can be fitted with conventional and smart weapons.

The aircraft is powered by two AE 3007 turbofan engines, each generating a maximum thrust of 7,420lb. The maximum speed is about Mach 0.78 and range is about 3,020km.

Boeing P-8A Poseidon

The P-8A Poseidon long-range multimission maritime aircraft was developed by Boeing for the US Navy. The aircraft is capable of performing maritime patrol, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It is based on Boeing's Next-Generation 737-800. The Indian Navy also operates a P-8A version designated as P-8I.

The P-8A made its first flight in April 2009. It is equipped with Northrop Grumman infrared countermeasures and electronic support measures systems, Raytheon AN/APY-10 radar and MK 54 lightweight torpedo, GE Aviation flight-management and stores-management systems and air-to-surface / anti-ship missiles.

The aircraft flies at a speed of 789km/h. Its power-plant consists of two CFM56-7B engines, each developing 27,000lb of thrust. Additional fuel tanks give the aircraft a range of 2,222km with four hours on station.

Falcon 900 MPA

The Falcon 900 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) is a derivative of the Falcon 900 DX business jet. The MPA can be used for wide variety of missions including anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, ISR, EEZ surveillance, surveillance of Sea Lanes Of Communication (SLOC), SAR, coastal security and environmental protection missions.

The advanced mission suite aboard the aircraft integrates 360° rotating maritime surveillance radar, retractable forward looking infrared system (FLIR), ESM suite, acoustic system with sonobuoys launcher, self-protection system and a complete communications suite. It allows the detection of numerous threats and ensures the crew can quickly counter such threats.

The power-plant of the Falcon 900 MPA includes three Honeywell TFE 731-60 engines equipped with Digital Electronic Engine Computer (DEEC). The aircraft has a cruise speed of Mach 0.85 and range of 1,200km.

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