The DA62 MSA is being developed by Diamond Aircraft Industries and Leonardo. Credit: Diamond Aircraft Industries.
DA62 MSA features Leonardo Gabbiano TS ultra-light surveillance radar. Credit: Diamond Aircraft Industries.
DA62 MSA offers a flight endurance of up to eight hours. Credit: Diamond Aircraft Industries.

The DA62 maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) is based on the DA62 special mission aircraft developed by Austrian composite aircraft manufacturer Diamond Aircraft Industries.

The maritime surveillance variant is being developed by Diamond Aircraft in a strategic partnership with Italian aerospace, defence and security company Leonardo. It will offer user-friendly, affordable and light intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability for maritime security and surveillance tasks.

Integrated with a full suite of Leonardo’s state-of-the-art sensors, the new aircraft is effective for short and medium-range land and maritime surveillance missions. The new solution aims to meet the high demand for land and maritime surveillance platforms in South America, Africa and Asia Pacific.

In June 2019, the DA62 MSA aircraft was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in Paris, France. It will be available to customers by the end of 2019.

DA62 maritime surveillance aircraft design and features

The maritime surveillance variant features carbon composite airframe coated with matte grey finish for reduced reflections and observability. It comes with high payload capacity and a spacious fuselage.

The main wings are mounted below the fuselage to provide optimal visibility, while the empennage features a large horizontal stabiliser.

The fuselage is fitted with two windows on both sides to provide entry and exit for the occupants. The aircraft’s take-off and landing operations are supported by retractable tricycle landing gear.

The crew cabin has been ergonomically optimised to provide comfort for four crew members. It is equipped with Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpit and GFC700 autopilot.

The DA62 MSA has a length of 9.19m, height of 2.82m and wingspan of 14.55m. It is outfitted with a 189l (151kg) main fuel tank and 137l (110kg) auxiliary fuel tank. The empty weight of the aircraft is 1,590kg, while its maximum take-off weight (MTOW) is 2,300kg.

Sensor suite on DA62 MSA

The DA62 MSA variant is installed with a Leonardo Gabbiano TS ultra-light surveillance radar underneath the fuselage to provide long and short-range surveillance capabilities over the land and at sea.

The all-weather, X-band radar provides navigation through different modes, including high-resolution ground mapping via synthetic aperture radar (SAR), weather avoidance, and ground moving target indication (GMTI) modes.

The aircraft also features a high-definition electro-optic and infrared (EO/IR) turret below the nose of the fuselage.

It can be fitted with Leonardo’s semi-automatic ground environment (SAGE) electronic support measures (ESM) system, which provides strategic intelligence gathering and tactical threat awareness in the radiofrequency (RF) environment.

The aircraft is also compatible with Spider communications intelligence (COMINT) system, which can intercept, detect, identify and locate communications of interest.

DA62 MSA’s mission management system

The aircraft integrates airborne tactical observation and surveillance (ATOS) advanced mission system to provide flight plan management for ISR missions.

The system integrates a surveillance radar, EO/IR turret, automatic identification system (AIS), satellite communication, COMINT and electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems, as well as ultra-high frequency (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) radios.

It controls mission sensors and collects the mission data from the on-board EO/IR sensors and the surveillance radar. The data is stored in a high-quality digital video format.

Propulsion and performance

The DA62 MSA is powered by a pair of Austro Engine AE 330 turbocharged common-rail injected 2l jet fuel engines. The engines drive two MT-propeller MTV-6-R-C-F/CF 194-80 three-blade constant-speed propellers.

The maximum cruise speed of the aircraft is 352km/h, while its operating speed is 140km/h. The DA62 MSA has a maximum operating altitude of 6,096m and offers a flight endurance of up to eight hours.