Rheinland Air Service (RAS) has delivered the second RAS 72 Sea Eagle maritime patrol aircraft to the Pakistan Navy during a handover ceremony in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

RAS delivered the multirole aircraft under a contract signed in 2015 to provide a modern fleet of maritime patrol aircraft to the Pakistan Navy. The US Navy received the first aircraft of the fleet in June last year.

Before transferring the second twin-engine aircraft, RAS presented it at the Paris International Airshow last month.

Rheinland Air Service special mission division director Nikolaos Mavrikis said: “The Pakistan Navy has taken delivery of its second RAS 72 MPA, becoming the newest operator of RAS’s latest-generation airborne platform and Aerodata’s Mission Management system for anti-submarine warfare, based on the cost-efficient twin-engine turboprop ATR 72 platform.

“The two RAS 72 in operation provide our customer with strategic maritime dominance and endorse the defence and maritime security domain of Pakistan.

“Working closely with the Pakistan Navy, and based on the feedback received from the operators, as well as from the naval aviators, we can clearly claim that this programme has significantly extended the organisation’s capabilities, modernised their fleet and endorsed the surveillance along the country’s coastal border, as well as in international waters.”

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The RAS 72 can be used in support of anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol missions, as well as search-and-rescue and other humanitarian operations.

In addition, the platform has the capability to transmit information in real-time to the dedicated command centre.

The on-board sensors enable the detection and identification of targets above or below the surface of the ocean.

According to Jane’s, both ATR 72 turboprops previously served the Pakistan Navy for transport before their conversion into maritime patrol aircraft.