Piaggio Aero, Saab Team Up To Reconfigure P180
Piaggio Aero has teamed with Saab to configure the Piaggio Aero P180 Avanti turbo prop as a multi-role patrol aircraft, starting with a maritime patrol variant.
The redeveloped P180 — normally an executive plane — will feature an enhanced airframe, increased maximum take-off weight, additional fuel tanks and a reinforced wing, offering over 10 flight hours, a maximum range of 3,300 nautical miles and a cruise speed of 350 knots.
The deal, which was announced at the Farnborough International Airshow, was signed by Piaggio Aero and Abu Dhabi Autonomous System Investments, a subsidiary of Tawazun, and covers the roll out of two prototypes with a first flight in 2014.
A first phase of the development involves work on a maritime patrol variant with a Telephonics radar, forward-looking infrared sensor and AIS range finder, to be integrated by Saab, said Paolo Brugiotti, vice president for business development and government sales at Piaggio Aero.
“We are targeting coast guards who want something smaller than the ATR42 or C295,” said Brugiotti, who added that the aircraft would cost $1,300 to $1,400 per flight hour.
Other missions envisioned include ground surveillance, tactical ISR and communications intelligence, the firm said.