Breguet ATL.2 Atlantique
When the specification was outlined in January 1958, designs were submitted to NATO and by the end of 1958, the Breguet Br 1150 had been selected as the best of the projects. The choice was endorsed by all 15 nations in NATO, including the USA, Canada and the UK.
A joint develop-ment contract was drawn up in February 1959, which provided for work on the Br 1150 to be financed by Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA, although only France and Germany were at that time indicating an interest in acquiring the new MR type in operational quantities. Belgian and Dutch interest was maintained as a means of obtaining a share in the production programme for indigenous companies, while US financing was part of that nation's general support for NATO.
To handle the joint design and production of the Br 1150, for which the name Atlantic had been adopted, Societe d'Etude et de Construction de Breguet Atlantic was set up as the industrial executive agency, the original constituent companies of which were Breguet, Sud Aviation, ABAP (the Belgian grouping of SABCA and the then Fairey company), Fokker and Seeflug (the German grouping of Dornier and Siebel). Engines, propellers and the radar-ECM system were to be government-funded equipment (GFE) but were also made the subject, so far as possible, of European joint production programmes. The Rolls-Royce Tyne RTy 20 Mk 21 was selected to power the Atlantic, production being under licence in France by SNECMA (with a 44 per cent share) and contributions by MTU in Germany (28 per cent), Rolls-Royce (20 per cent) and FN in Belgium (8 per cent). The Hawker Siddeley Dynamics (de Havilland) propeller was put into production by Ratier. CSF was chosen to produce the radar in France and other major suppliers were Hispano Suiza for the undercarriage, Crouzet for navigation equipment and Bendix, Sperry and Canadian Marconi for avionics items.
To launch the programme two prototypes were ordered in July 1959, and the basic industrial programme for the prototype and production stages was agreed in December. The first prototype, powered by RTy 20 engines supplied completely by Rolls-Royce, flew at Toulouse on 21 October 1961. It was followed by the second (Atlantic 02), which flew on 25 February 1962, but was lost in an accident two months later, on 19 April. Meanwhile, two pre-production examples had been ordered in February 1961; the first of these (Atlantic 03) flew on 25 February 1963 and featured the lengthened fuselage that had been adopted for the production model, 3 ft 3 in (1 m) longer than the prototypes. Other features of the production standard Atlantic, for which orders were placed in June 1963, were incorporated in the second pre-production Atlantic, 04, which flew on 10 September 1964 and subsequently being referred to as the first production model. This same aircraft was eventually to be used, in 1979, as an aerodynamic test vehicle for the Atlantic NG (in which guise it was known as the ANG 001).
The initial phase of flight test and development was completed on 31 October 1965, with some 2,000 hrs of flying, and on 10 December that year the first production Atlantic for the French Aeronavale and the Federal German Marineflieger were handed over in a formal ceremony at Nimes-Garons. By the end of the year, five aircraft were off the line and production was at a rate of two a month. Production was shared between France (60.5 per cent by value of the airframe), Germany (17 per cent), the Netherlands (15 per cent) and Belgium (7.5 per cent). In practice, the work was divided between Sud Aviation (outer wings), Breguet (front and centre fuselage plus final assembly at Toulouse-Colomiers), Dornier (rear fuselage and lower lobe of centre fuselage), SIAT (tail unit), SABCA (power plant cowlings), Fairey (centre section flaps) and Fokker (centre section structure and nacelles).
Between 1965 and 1968, Aeronavale received 40 Atlantic Is and Marineflieger, 20. In France, these aircraft were issued progressively to four Flottilles, Nos 21F and 22F based at Nimes-Garons and operating in the Mediterranean area, and Nos 23F and 24F based at Lann-Bihoue and operating over the Atlantic. The front-line strength of each of these Flottilles is seven aircraft. Late in 1975, the Aeronavale released three of its Atlantics for sale to Pakistan and these are now based at Karachi for operation by the naval aviation element of the Pakistan armed forces.
In the Marineflieger, the Atlantic replaced the Fairey Gannets operated in the ASW role by Marineflieger-geschwader (MFG) 3 "Graf Zeppelin" at Nordholz. Of the 20 aircraft acquired, five were converted by LTV for special electronic intelligence (ELINT) duties over the Baltic (one of these having subsequently been lost). Early replacement of the 15 Atlantic Is in the ASW role having been ruled out on financial grounds, the Marineflieger embarked in 1978 on a programme to update the avionics and sonar equipment in the existing fleet, all of which will have been cycled through the so-called KWS modernisation programme by Dornier GmbH at Friedrichshafen by 1983.
Dutch interest in the Atlantic crystallised towards the end of 1960, just as production of the initial run of 60 was completed; purchase of nine was linked to the formation of a new squadron to help replace the aircraft carrier Karel Doorman, and as the need was urgent Avonavale released four of its Atlantic Is for early use by the MLD pending deliveries from the re-opened production line. With the Dutch designation SP-13A (the MLD, unlike its land-based counterpart the KLu, assigns its own designations to its current aircraft), the Atlantics were issued to VSQ-321 (No 321 Squadron) based at Valkenburg, and were supplemented by the five new-production aircraft by January 1972.
Meanwhile, Italy's Marinavia (or A viazione per la Marina Militare) had also decided to adopt the Atlantic 1 and had ordered 18. This brought Aeritalia into the SECBAT partnership, with responsibility for producing (on the finat batch of aircraft) the moving control surfaces, rear fuselage lower lobe, parts of the front fuselage and the engine nacelles. The final batch of aircraft included not only the 18 for Italy but the four replacement Mk Is for Aeronavale to make good those transferred to MLD. Delivered between June 1972 and July 1974, the Italian aircraft entered service with two Stormi Anti-Somergibile, the 30o Stormo (86o Gruppo) at Cagliari-Elmas and the 41o Stormo (88 o Gruppo) at Catania-Fortanarossa, each with nine aircraft. Marinavia provides half the crews for these two squadrons, but since 1978, control of land-based ASW aircraft has been assigned to the AMI (Italian Air Force) rather than the Navy.
On July 19 1974 the Toulouse-Colomiers plant of Dassault/Breguet Aviation delivered the 18th Breguet 1150 Atlantic maritime patrol aircraft to the Italian Government. This delivery ended the first production phase involving 87 Atlantics. The 87 Atlantics delivered are absolutely identical. Delivery schedule was as follows: 40 for the French Navy, 20 for the German Navy, nine for the Dutch Navy and 18 for the Italian armed forces.
Improved versions of the basic Atlantic 1 were under study as early as 1972, with the primary objective of expanding the aggressive roles of the aircraft to include anti-shipping strike as well as the primary anti-submarine mission, and of improving its performance.
The French government decided, on 23 February 1978, that the programme should go ahead, and two prototypes of the ANG were duly ordered from Dassault-Breguet on 21 December 1978 (these to be conversions of Atlantic I airframes). Destined to become the first prototype (ANG 01), the Atlantic 1 No 42 arrived at Toulouse on 17 July 1979, and made its maiden flight after conversion on 8 May 1981; the second prototype (ANG 02) was a conversion of Atlantic 1 No 69.
Breguet, in the original Br 1150 design, a mid-wing layout that provided good flotation characteristics in case of ditching, with a two-lobe or "double bubble" fuselage permitting pressurisation of most of the upper lobe and an unobstructed cabin of constant width over a length of nearly 50 ft (15 m), with a weapons bay in the unpressurised lower lobe some 27 ft in length.
The mid-wing position also allowed the weapons bay doors to open by sliding up the sides of the fuselage, thus avoiding obstruction of the panoramic search field of the radar, with its antenna in a retractable radome ahead of the bay, and keeping drag to a minimum with the doors open; loading of weapons also was facilitated by this weapon door arrangement.
The Atlantic's wing was designed with a relatively high aspect ratio of about 11:1, producing a good economy in cruising flight and excellent manoeuvrability at low altitude.
The wing was a three-spar structure with powered ailerons, slotted flaps, air brakes above and below each half wing and three spoiler segments ahead of the flaps each side. The tail unit included conventional powered control surfaces and a fixed tailplane, with ECM sensors in a fairing atop the fin. The undercarriage had twin wheels on each leg, with the nosewheel retracting to the rear and the main wheels retracting forwards.
An APU was located in the forward starboard side of the lower fuselage to provide compressed air for engine starting and ground air conditioning, plus emergency electrical services. Breguet chose turboprop power, electing to use a pair of Rolls-Royce Tyne RTy 20s.
Structurally, extensive use was made of bonded light alloy/ honeycomb sandwich material for the wing and fuselage panels. In particular, such sandwich construction, in moulded form, was adopted for the wing torsion boxes (containing the integral fuel tanks), the pressurised upper fuselage lobe, tail unit torsion boxes and doors to the weapons bay and landing gear.
Systems in the Atlantic 1 have been almost totally replaced in the ANG - included sonobuoy systems and a CSF magnetometer for submarine detection and tracking. Typically, the two forward racks carried four L4 or eight Mk 44 torpedoes, the centre rack could receive a nuclear depth charge and 10 active sonar buoys would be mounted in the third rack. Four wing strong points usually carried four AS 12 missiles and internal storage was provided for flares, marker buoys, smoke bombs, submarine detection charges and 72 active sonar buoys. A retro launcher in the rear fuselage allowed sonobuoys to be dropped at nil forward speed.
In developing the ANG, the objective has been to produce an airframe with a 12,000-hr life with increased operational serviceability. In pursuit of these targets, the structural design of the ANG has been improved in several respects for easier and more economical maintenance and longer fatigue life. The improvements include a refined bonding technique, extended anti-corrosion protection, better jointing between skins and the use of lighter structural materials in some areas, such as the landing gear, without loss of strength. No changes have been made in the power plant, fuel systems, basic flying controls or hydraulic and electric systems. The ANG has Tyne 21 engines that are functionally interchangeable with the Atlantic Mk 1 powerplants, three integral fuel tanks in each wing with two engine driven pumps and two separate fuel systems with crossfeed options.
The weapon bay in the ANG is physically the same size as that in the Atlantic 1, and the same range of stores can be mounted on the three transverse carriers: each carrier or bridge can accommodate four Mk 46 torpedoes, four ASW depth charges or bombs of up to 275 lb (125 kg) weight, three 550-1b (250-kg) mines or four ASR packs - not all these items can be carried on all three bridges at the same time, but with the rear bridge empty any combination is possible on the forward and centre bridges, ie, up to eight torpedoes, depth charges or bombs. The new feature for the ANG is the provision to carry Aerospatiale AM 39 Exocet ASMs - either two on special bridges, or one AM 39 in combination with three torpedoes, this latter representing a likely standard load.
Supplementing the internal stores are four wing hardpoints, now of increased capacity - 1,650 lb (750 kg) outboard and 2,205 lb (1000 kg) inboard - each able to carry an air-to-surface missile such as the AS 12 carried by the Atlantic 1.
Initial deliveries began in October 1988 to meet a requirement for 42 aircraft to equip four Aeronavale squadrons.
Breguet Br 1150 Atlantique
Engine: 2 x Rolls-Royce Tyne R.Ty 20 Mk 21, 6022 shp
Length: 104.167 ft / 31.75 m
Height: 37.172 ft / 11.33 m
Wingspan: 119 ft 1 in / 36.3 m
Max take off weight: 95917.5 lb / 43500.0 kg
Max. speed: 355 kts / 658 km/h
Service ceiling: 32808 ft / 10000 m
Range: 4860 nm / 9000 km
Dassault-Breguet Atlantic NG
Power Plant: Two Rolls- Royce/SNECMA Tyne 21 turboprops each rated at 5,665 shp at 15,250 rpm for take-off (5 min limit) and 5,190 shp at 14,500 rpm for unrestricted continuous operation.
Propellers: Ratier-built BAe Dynamics four-blade variable-pitch of 16 ft (4,88 m) diameter.
Fuel capacity, 5,086 Imp gal (23120 1t).
Max permissible speed, 355 kts (658 km/h) or Mach = 0.70
Max speed, 320 kts (593 km/h) at sea level
Cruising speed, 300 kts (556 km/h) or Mach = 0.50 at 25,000 ft (7 620 m)
Typical patrol speed 170 kts (315 km/h)
Take-off run, 5,420 ft (1650 m) ISA at sea level max weight
Initial rate of climb, 2,000 ft/min (10,1 m/sec)
Ceiling 30,000 ft (9 100 m)
Max endurance, 18 hrs.
Empty equipped weight, 55,115 lb (25 000 kg)
Max fuel load, 40,785 lb (18 500 kg)
Military load (ASW), 6,615 lb (3 000 kg)
Normal take-off weight, 97,885 lb (44 400 kg)
Max overload weight, 101,850 lb (46200 kg)
Max zero fuel weight, 71,650 lb (32 500 kg).
Wing span, 122 ft 7 in (37,36 m)
Length, 107 ft 0.25 in (32,62 m)
Height, 37 ft 11 in (11,31 m)
Undercarriage track, 29 ft 6 in 4 (9,00 m)
Wing area, 1,295.3 sq ft (120,34 sq.m)
Aspect ratio, 10.94:1.
Internal weapons bay, length 29 ft 6 in (9,99 m), width, 6 ft 1012 in (2,1 m), height, 3 ft 314 in (1,0 m), Armament: up to eight Mk 46 homing torpedoes, two AM 39 Exocet ASMs, 12 depth charges, nine 550-1b (250 kg) mines, etc; four wing strong points have combined capacity of 7,715 lb (3 500 kg); rear fuselage bay contains up to 78 sonobuoys.
Normal flight crew: 12, two pilots, flight engineer, forward observer, radio-navigator, ESM/ ECM/MAD operator, radar operator, tactical co-ordinator, two acoustic operators and two aft observers.
Engine: 2 x R-R Tyne RT.20 Mk.21 turboprop, 6,100 shp (4549 kW).
Installed thrust: 8450 kW.
Prop: 16 ft 0 in (4.88 m) dia 4-blade.
Wing span: 119 ft 1 in (36.30 m).
Length: 104 ft 2 in (31.75 m).
Wing area: 1,295 sq ft (120.34 sq.m).
Empty wt: 27,500 kg.
MTOW: 95,900 lb (43,500 kg).
Warload: 3000 kg.
Max speed: 645 kph.
Initial ROC: 885 m/min.
Ceiling: 9100+ m.
T/O run (to 15m): 1840 m.
Ldg run (from 15m): 1500 m.
Fuel internal: 23,120 lt.
Range: 1850 km.
Endurance: 5 hr on station.
Air refuel: No.
Cruising speed: 345 mph (556 km/h).
Max range: 5,590 miles (9,000 km).