Saab to Integrate Surveillance System on Piaggio Aero MPA Aircraft

Swedish Saab has signed a framework agreement with Italian Piaggio Aero Industries for the integration of surveillance systems in Piaggio Aero's new surveillance aircraft. The order is valued at Euro 15,5 million.
The new aircraft, Piaggio Aero MPA (Multirole Patrol Aircraft), is a multi-functional aircraft and can be used for airborne patrols over land and sea.

Within the framework agreement Saab receives an initial order for the delivery and integration of the surveillance system MPA Mission System. The order comprises two MPA aircraft and requires Saab to integrate a package of advanced surveillance equipment comprising of sensors, radar, infra-red cameras and a mission system.

The Piaggio Aero MPA is the evolution of the Piaggio Aero P.180 Avanti II platform, newly designed to meet the need for a robust and high-tech solution for land, coastal, maritime and offshore security.

The MPA's main features are an enhanced airframe, increased maximum take-off weight, additional fuel tanks and a new aerodynamic configuration with a reinforced wing providing an increased surface and higher aspect ratio.

The new special mission aircraft will be able to fly up to 41,000 feet, with an outstanding endurance of 10 plus flight hours, a maximum range of 3,300 Nm and a best in class cruise speed of 350 Knots.

The MPA is designed for different roles including Maritime Patrol, Ground Surveillance, Tactical ISR and COMINT missions.

The twin turboprop aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, with a competitive loitering speed both at low and high altitude, coupled with a best in class 350KTAS cruise speed for maximum mission flexibility.

Its operating ceiling of up to 41,000 feet, allows for high altitude operations with a remarkable 10 plus hours endurance.

The aircraft will be able to perform surveillance of broad areas for more than 6 hours at low altitude in coastal or offshore waters, and thanks to its maximum range of more than 3300 Nm and fast deployment speed is able to reach distant operative theaters.

The large, stand up cabin allows installation of any kind of console for flexible operation and special missions as well as providing maximum crew comfort enhanced by the lowest cabin noise in its category and a high pressure differential of just 9psi.

The MPA features the patented Three-Lifting-Surface Configuration (3LSC). The modified aerodynamic configuration designed for special mission applications, underwent extensive Reynolds low speed/high speed wind tunnel testing in the world's leading facilities (ONERA) to validate design and performance and during testing demonstrated an outstanding 30% reduction of required power in comparison to its nearest competitor.