Safran Aircraft Engines has been awarded a new contract to perform the engine maintenance work on the French Navy’s Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft.
The contract was awarded by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces’ Directorate of Aeronautical Maintenance (DMAé) towards the end of last year.
Also called IROISE contract, the latest award requires Safran Aircraft Engines to work as the new service provider for a period of next 18 years.
The company will provide maintenance in operational condition (MCO) for the ageing Tyne engines equipped with the ATL2 fleet.
Tyne turboprop was developed by Rolls-Royce in the 1950s to equip the French Navy’s Atlantique 2 fleet as well as other jets, such as Transall C-160 military transport aircraft.
According to the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the latest IROISE contract will allow them to meet the availability objectives for the old engines at a very high level and continue supporting the fleet until ATL2’s scheduled retirement from the French Navy’s fleet.
Furthermore, the contract is in line with the DMAé-led aeronautical MCO transformation plan to fulfil the future requirements of the French Navy.
Built by Dassault Aviation, Atlantique 2 is the only French-made maritime patrol aircraft in service with the French Navy since the late 90s.
The aircraft is deployed to perform a wide range of missions to safeguard the nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), assigned under the country’s Strategic Oceanic Force.
The ATL2 fleet can further be configured to undertake intelligence gathering operations, maritime safeguarding missions as well as other security operations in support of the naval forces.
Currently, the French Navy operates a total of 22 ATL2 aircraft from the Metropolis, France and other theatres of operations.