A319 MPA Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Spain
The A319 MPA is a long range maritime patrol and ASW aircraft developed by Airbus Military. The aircraft can be deployed in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
The low-altitude loiter or search capability, exceeding range, endurance and fast transit speed make the A319 the best maritime patrol aircraft in its range.
A319 MPA aircraft design
The A319 MPA is a derivative of the Airbus A319 passenger aircraft. The airframe is made of corrosion resistant lightweight composite materials for lower fuel consumption.
Designed with larger access doors, the aircraft allows easier component replacement. The centralised maintenance system monitors the key aircraft components and automatically transfers anomalies to the aircraft base. The A319 MPA comes with an option for universal aerial refuelling receptacle slipway installation (UARRSI) for aerial refuelling.
The 3.7m long fuselage cross-section allows setting up of a spacious cabin housing six operator consoles, a galley, a toilet, electronic equipment racks and sonobuoy storage. The cabin has enough space to incorporate operator areas and a rest area for long endurance missions. The lower deck has been shaped to provide optimum space to house a bomb-bay and additional fuel tanks for extended range and endurance.
A319 MPA missions
The A319 MPA is equipped for classical fighting roles and new operations. In addition to maritime patrol roles, the aircraft can conduct joint operations with other units and international and coalition forces.
The flight deck is installed with six multi-functional displays. A head-up display (HUD) is also provided to increase pilot situational awareness during approach and landing operations.
The cockpit's ergonomic design allows an unrestricted view of instruments and features two side stick controllers of the fly-by-wire system. The fly-by-wire flight control system reduces the pilot workload by providing flight envelope protection and responsive flight controls.
It also provides precise handling during turbulence. The onboard information terminal (OIT) transfers situational and sensor information to crew members. It also enhances crew coordination and mission assessment.
The A319 MPA is fitted with anti-submarine and anti-surface weapon systems. The aircraft can carry a variety of weapons internally and on wing-pylons. The internal bomb-bay can house eight weapon stations for torpedoes, depth charges, mines and other ASW weaponry. Four under-wing points can hold missiles to attack naval or land-based targets.
Sensors / radars
The open architecture mission system of A319 MPA integrates a set of multi-mission sensors. The sensors coupled with modern communication systems enable the aircraft to conduct operations in a network centric operations (NCO) environment.
The complete suite of ASW sensors tracks and identifies under sea and surface targets.
The mission systems include a surveillance radar, IFF interrogator, IR/EO turret, acoustic system and magnetic anomaly detector (MAD).
Navigation and communication
The A319 MPA features fully integrated tactical system (FITS), a system successfully installed on the Airbus MPA family and on the P-3 Orion.
FITS integrates aircraft communication and datalink systems.
Six operator consoles installed in the cabin provide better situational awareness to conduct patrol and anti-submarine operations at low altitudes.
The aircraft can also be fitted with Link 11/22, Link 16, TCDL or enhanced message datalink systems to provide data, picture and video exchange with the network.
The communications equipment onboard allows dissemination of time-critical intelligence based on the information gathered and analysed during the mission.
The aircraft can be operated in a network including helicopters and unmanned platforms.
The self-protection suite includes radar and missile warning systems. It is fully integrated with a decoy dispenser. The directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system can be optionally fitted to protect against IR-guided missiles. An electronic support measures (ESM) system is also installed onboard.
The A319 MPA is powered by two IAE V2527M-A5 or CFM56-5B7 engines providing a thrust of 26,500lbf or 27,000lbf. The twin-turbofan configuration provides a maximum speed of Mach 0.82.