Breguet Atlantic

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Br.1150 Atlantic
Atlantique 2
Breguet.atlantic.6112.arp.jpg
Breguet Atlantic of the German Navy
Role Maritime patrol aircraft
Manufacturer Breguet Aviation
First flight 21 October 1961
Introduction 1965
Status Active service
Primary users French Navy
German Navy
Italian Air Force
Pakistan Navy
Royal Netherlands Navy
Produced 1961 – 1987
Number built 87 Atlantique 1
28 Atlantique 2
Unit cost
>$35 Million[1]

The Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft designed and manufactured by Breguet Aviation. Introduced to service in 1965, it has been operated by several NATO countries, commonly performing maritime roles such as reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. The Atlantic is also capable of carrying air-to-ground missiles, and some German Navy aircraft were also equipped to perform ELINT duties. An updated version, the Atlantique 2 or ATL2, was produced by Dassault Aviation for the French Navy in the 1980s.

Design and development[edit]

In 1958 NATO produced a specification for a long-range maritime patrol aircraft to replace the Lockheed Neptune, with Breguet's design, the Br 1150, chosen as the winner of the competition at the end of the year. A multi-national consortium, Société d'Étude et de Construction de Breguet Atlantic (SECBAT) was set up to develop and build the Atlantic.[2]

The first prototype made its maiden flight at Toulouse on 21 October 1961, with the second prototype flying on 25 February 1962, followed by two pre-production aircraft with a longer fuselage in February 1963 and September 1964.[3]

The Atlantic is a twin-engined, mid-winged monoplane with a "double-bubble" fuselage, with the upper lobe comprising a pressurised crew compartment, and the lower lobe housing a 9 m (27 ft 6 in) long weapons bay, with sonobuoy tubes aft of the weapons bay. A radar scanner is housed in a retractable underfuselage radome, while a magnetic anomaly detector is housed in a tail boom. Power is by two Rolls-Royce Tyne turboprop engines.[4][5]

The Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic has been designed for its purpose, instead of refitting or modifying existing designs. Though the primary mission of the Atlantic is anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, its secondary role includes search and rescue, mine laying and detection, and long-range maritime surveillance.[6]

The Atlantic can carry either eight guided ASW torpedoes such as Mk 46 Torpedo or 12 depth charges or two AM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles in its internal bomb bay. German Atlantics usually carried Mk 46s only and flew unarmed during the last years of their service.

An initial order for 60 Atlantics, 40 for France and 20 for Germany, was placed in 1963, with deliveries starting in 1965 and continuing to 1968. The production line had shut down by the time that the Netherlands placed an order for nine Atlantics and Italy ordered 18. Aircraft from this second production batch were delivered from 1972 to 1974.[7]

In 1978, the French Government authorised development of a new, updated version of the Atlantic, the Atlantic Nouvelle Generation (later known as the Atlantique 2 when orders from other nations did not occur). While airframe and engines of the new aircraft changed little, other equipment and avionics were considerably revised, with a new radar, a new sonar processor and tactical computer, with a FLIR turret under the nose. The ability to carry Exocet missiles was also added.[8] Two prototype Atlantique 2s were produced by converting existing Atlantics, with the first flying on 8 May 1981, with production being authorised on 24 May 1984.[5] Deliveries started in 1989, with 28 eventually built, from an original requirement for 42.[9][10] By 2012 they had been rebranded as the ATL2 and France had 22 in service.[11] 18 are to be upgraded in two stages, Phase I addressing obsolescence issues and Phase II adding new capabilities.[11] There is a separate project to integrate the new MU90 Impact torpedo.[11]

An Atlantique 3 was proposed in 1995 for the British competition won by the Nimrod MRA4. It would have had a two-man glass cockpit, uprated AE2100H turboprops and avionics upgrades.[12][verification needed]

Operational history[edit]

The Royal Netherlands Navy lost three Atlantics out of nine aircraft in a series of failures over the Atlantic Ocean,[13][14] resulting in the grounding of the type in 1981 and its eventual replacement by the P-3 Orion. The German Marineflieger operated their fleet from 1963 to 2005, losing one in an accident. The German Atlantics were also replaced by former Dutch P-3 Orions.

In 1999, a Pakistan Navy Atlantic which was probing Indian air defense inadvertently flew into Indian airspace, it was shot down by Indian Air Force MiG-21s after they failed to force it to land at an Indian base, raising tensions in the region, in what was dubbed the Atlantique Incident. Disobeying instructions from the MiG pilots, the Atlantic maneuvered to escape from them and was shot down by a heat-seeking air-to-air missile over the Rann of Kutch region.

Several German Atlantics have been donated to museums, including the Luftwaffenmuseum and the Dutch Air Force Museum, Soesterberg, Netherlands.[15]

French Atlantics flew search flights during efforts to find the location of the crashed Air France Flight 447.[16][17][18] French Navy Atlantique-2s were employed as ground-strike aircraft during Operation Serval over Northern Mali in January 2013; a number of laser-guided GBU-12 bombs were dropped by the Atlantiques against Malian jihadist seeking to overthrow the Malian government.[19]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 20 September 1968 – Six members of the French Air Force were killed when their Atlantic crashed while performing at the Farnborough Air Show (Hampshire, England).[20]
  • 15 January 1981 - The Dutch Marine Atlantic SP-13A reconnaissance plane was shadowing the Soviet Navy carrier Kiev in foul weather, with 30ft waves and blizzard conditions. The Atlantic's crew transmitted a Mayday at 09:58. They were not able to maintain height. It was forced to ditch 113 miles west of the Inner Hebrides about half an hour later. The Atlantic had suffered control problems after the failure of a control rod in the horizontal stabilizer. Nine survivors were rescued by RAF Sea King helicopter about two hours after the crash.[21]
  • 18 May 1986 - While flying through a cloud-covered sky, a French Navy Atlantic crashed into a mountain in Djibouti, killing all 19 people on board.
  • 10 August 1999 - At the Pakistani-Indian border, 16 Pakistani Naval airmen were killed in the Atlantique Incident after intruding into Indian airspace, just a month after the Kargil War.

Variants[edit]

Br.1150 Atlantic 
Long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
Atlantique
Updated variant.

Operators[edit]

Breguet Atlantic Br.1150 of the Italian Navy
 France
 Italy
 Pakistan
Former Operators
 Germany
  • German Navy - Received 20 Atlantics, with five converted as ELINT aircraft.[23] Replaced all ASW aircraft by ex-Dutch P-3 Orion in 2005, while the remaining ELINT version were planned to be replaced by EuroHawks.
 Netherlands

Specifications (Atlantique 2)[edit]

Another view of the above Breguet Atlantic Br.1150 of the German Navy
Weapons bay with two torpedoes

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89 [5]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Defence Journal of Pakistan referring to the cost of the airplane with reference to its downing in the Atlantique Incident
  2. ^ Air International November 1981, pp. 218, 252.
  3. ^ Air International November 1981, p.252.
  4. ^ Air International November 1981, pp. 213–216.
  5. ^ a b c Taylor 1988, pp. 71–73.
  6. ^ Naval Technology
  7. ^ Air International November 1981, pp. 252–253.
  8. ^ Air International November 1981, pp. 216–218.
  9. ^ Lambert 1993, pp. 81–82.
  10. ^ Penny, Stewart. "Military Aircraft Directory Part 1". Flight International, 4 August 1999.
  11. ^ a b c "Projet de loi de finances pour 2013 : Défense : équipement des forces" (in French). Senate of France. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  12. ^ Jane's All the World's Aircraft. Jane's Information Group. 2002. 
  13. ^ "Dutch Atlantic crash". Flight International (Reed Business Information). 25 April 1981. 
  14. ^ "Breguet Br1150 Atlantic (SP-13A) - Netherlands Naval Aviation". World Air Forces. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Airforce Museum
  16. ^ "Search Teams Converge on Presumed Air France Crash Zone." Washington Post, 1 June 2009.
  17. ^ "French army air crewman aboard an Atlantic Model 2 aircraft." Associated Press, 2 June 2009.
  18. ^ "An Atlantic Model 2 aircraft lands at France's air base in Dakar." Associated Press, 2 June 2009.
  19. ^ "Mali : les Atlantique 2 ouvrent le feu", Air & Cosmos, January 31, 2013
  20. ^ "British Air Show Crash Kills 6". St.Petersburg Times. 21 September 1968. 
  21. ^ "Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. 15 January 1981. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  22. ^ http://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/MEZZI/VELIVOLIDOTAZIONE/Pagine/Br-1150Atlantic.aspx
  23. ^ Donald and Lake 1996, p.121.
  24. ^ including wingtip pods
Bibliography
  • Eden, Paul (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Aircraft. London, UK: Amber Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904687-84-9. 
  • Donald, David and Jon Lake. (editors). Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. London:Aerospace Publishing, Single Volume edition, 1996. ISBN 1-874023-95-6.
  • Lambert, Mark. (editor). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993-94. Coulsdon, UK:Jane's Data Division, 1993. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.
  • "The New Generation Atlantics". Air International, November 1981, Vol. 21 No. 5. pp. 213–218, 252–253.
  • Taylor, John W. R. (editor). Jane's All the Worlds Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group, 1988. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
  • Wilson, Stewart. Combat Aircraft since 1945. London: Aerospace Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-875671-50-1. 

External links[edit]