The interesting aircraft will be upgraded to the Sea Eagle configuration.
On Jun. 27, 2020, a Pakistan Navy ATR-72-500, with serial 77, arrived at Mönchengladbach airport, Germany, after a two-day flight. The aircraft departed PNS Mehran near Karachi, made an overnight stop at Izmir-Adnan Menderes and arrived in Germany at 10:15 in the morning.
Pakistan Strategic Forum Facebook page reports that the ATR will be converted by Rheinland Air Service (RAS) into a Maritime Patrol Aircraft version, called a RAS-72-500 “Sea Eagle”.
According to Janes Defense News, the RAS 72 Sea Eagle is equipped with a long-range, active electronically scanned array (AESA) multimode radar, as well as electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensors to deliver aerial, maritime, and ground surveillance, according to RAS.The platform also features an acoustic processing system, sonobuoy launchers, a broadband satellite communications system, an electronic support measures suite, a self-protection suite, and two weapon hard-points, enabling anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime patrol capabilities. The PN’s two RAS 72 Sea Eagles also feature Aerodata’s mission management system, called AeroMission, for ASW.
“The RAS 72 multirole aircraft offers unrivalled efficiency as well as operational flexibility not only for anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol missions, but also for search and rescue and other humanitarian operations. In addition to the MPA configuration, RAS can offer the ATR 72 with a complete range of interior configurations, from pure passenger cabin and troop transport to complex customization required for VIP guests as well as a variety of cargo options,” says RAS (a German company providing comprehensive FAA and EASA Part 145-approved aircraft maintenance, part-out services, and special mission modifications for commercial, business aircraft and military aircraft) on their official website.
The “77″ is the third Pakistan Navy ATR which will be converted by RAS to the “Sea Eagle” variant. Earlier the 78 and 79 where already equipped as Maritime Patrol Aircraft. A fourth ATR, the 76, could still be converted in the future.
Frank Noort took the photo you can find in this article (below you can find the hi-rez version of the shot) and provided the details about the rare aircraft.