Leonardo and Diamond have jointly introduced a new maritime surveillance version of the latter’s DA62 aircraft fitted with a surveillance radar and tactical mission system. The DA62 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA), which is making its public debut this week at the Paris Air Show (Static A6), is being targeted at operators that—particularly those in South America, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific—wish to carry out intelligence missions but do not have the budget to buy bespoke alternatives.
The platform will include Leonardo’s Gabbiano Ultra-Light TS radar, integrated with its Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) system. Other options for the configuration include Leonardo’s Sage electronic support measures and Spider communications intelligence systems.
Fabrizio Boggiani, senior vice-president of airborne sensors and mission systems at Leonardo Electronics, told AIN that not all countries have the budget to buy top-end dedicated surveillance aircraft, but they still have requirements for border security, for example, so need something to provide this within budget. The companies are additionally exploring potentially offering it on a services basis, which can make operation of the aircraft even more affordable.
Leonardo (Chalet 244) was previously selected to provide ATOS on the Beechcraft King Air 350 for Ecuador and an undisclosed African country, as well as by Italy for integration on the ATR72. “We have experience working with other partners, but we consider ourselves well placed in doing this with Diamond,” Boggiani said.