TRIESTE, Italy, July 24 (UPI) -- Italy's Alenia Aermacchi has delivered the first of eight ATR72-600 maritime aircraft to the Turkish Navy, with the second due next month.
The aircraft delivered is in the Turkish Maritime Utility configuration, of which two were ordered. The remaining six ATR72-600s will be in the patrol and anti-submarine configuration.
The ATR-72 was first introduced into service as a twin-engine, short-haul, commercial turboprop airliner. The 600 series was announced in 2007, with first deliveries slated for 2010.
The two military utility versions of the plane feature new radios; an Identification Friend or Foe system and a cabin area equipped with tactical tables and communications equipment.
In a related development, Alenia Aermacchi said the first Turkish Navy flying instructors recently completed training on the aircraft at its training center in Caselle, Italy. Additional details were not provided.
Turkish Aerospace Industry will convert the remaining six aircraft from civil configuration into the anti-submarine warfare version, which will include weapons, Thales AMASCOS mission systems and other mission specific equipment. Deliveries to the Navy are expected to begin in 2017.