Israel’s Elbit Systems announced on 10 July that it has won a contract to supply two long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) based on the new ATR 72-600 aircraft platform to an undisclosed Asia Pacific country.
The deal is believed to be linked to the Philippines, which has a longstanding requirement for two long-range patrol aircraft (LRPA) that was first articulated as early as 2013 but put on hold due to financial constraints and stalled tender processes.
Elbit Systems stated that the value of the contract is US$114 million and will be carried out over a five-year period, adding that it will integrate a mission suite that includes a mission management system, electro-optics, radar, signals intelligence (SIGINT), communications, and other equipment.
The LRPA effort was revitalised in 2020, with local media reporting at the time that an Israeli solution was likely to be selected through a government-to-government contract.
Elbit’s announcement comes nine months after the Philippine government released an initial funding of US$16 million to finance its delayed LRPA programme under a scheme known as the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) by the Philippine Department of Budget and Management in August 2022.
The new aircraft will be used to secure the country’s vast maritime territory and likely operated by the Philippine Air Force’s 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing.
According to the air force’s original requirements released in 2013, the LRPA aircraft were required to have at least four multifunction consoles with an airborne tactical system with integrated electro-optical/infrared turret, electronic support measures (ESM), magnetic anomaly detector (MAD), and other surveillance and mission equipment.
by Jr Ng