The latest and final modernization of the venerable French maritime patrol aircraft known as the Atlantique 2 (ATL2) was declared fully operational.
Upgraded to the standard 6, the ATL2 received a new combat system, a new radar called Searchmaster, and new sensors.
This update “provides the crew with latest generation screens and a more efficient system that allows faster processing of data collected during maritime patrol missions,” the French Ministry of Armed Forces explains.
On November 14, 2022, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandier, signed the operational commissioning of the ATL2 standard 6.
Nine aircraft were already modified, and 18 should be brought to this standard eventually. Standard 6 should be the last upgrade received by the aircraft until the end of its service life in 2035.
The Dassault-Breguet Atlantique 2 entered service in 1992 in the Marine Nationale, though it is based on the Breguet Atlantic, an airframe developed in the 1960s.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce Tyne engines, the aircraft has a maximum speed of 600 kilometers per hour and a range of over 7,300 kilometers.
It is capable of carrying up to 3.5 tonnes of armament, including depth charges, mines, and torpedoes, and can also fire the Aérospatiale AM-39 Exocet anti-ship missiles.
In August 2021, shortly after the initial operational capability was declared, an ATL2 standard 6 was deployed as part of the European-led Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz.