Atlantic 1 of the French Navy seen at NAS Lann-Bihoué on June 18th 2000. (Damian Allard)
Atlantic 1 of the French Navy seen at NAS Lann-Bihoué on June 18th 2000. (Damian Allard)



On December 14th 1956, NATO council members, started studying a new maritime patrol aircraft to replace the US-made P2V-7 Neptune. The NATO Basic Military Requirement was drawn up by military experts coming from ten European countries and was sent to the aircraft companies on March 21st 1958. The main requirements were :

On January 30th 1959, the Br-1150 Atlantic motorized by two Rolls-Royce Tyne engines was selected by the NATO among twenty-one projects. On October 2nd 1961, the SECBAT company (European Aircraft Corporation for Atlantic's program) was created. The following companies took part in the program :

Tyne turboprop were provided by Rolls-Royce, SNECMA-Hispano, FN and MTU ; and electronic equipment by US companies. Production lines were set up at Breguet-Toulouse facilities.

Prototype of the Atlantic 1. (Dassault Aviation)

Four prototypes were built. First one made its first flight on October 21th 1961 with Bernard Witt, Romeo Zinzoni and René Périneau at controls. Second one flew on February 23th 1962, flown by Yves Brunaud, M. Raymond and René Périneau.

The Atlantic was a 43 t plane, equipped with two Tyne engines of 5 500 hp, able to accommodate twelve crew members for 18 hours (8 000 km) at 650 km/h. Official order was made on June 6th 1963 : 20 planes for France (finally 40), 20 for Western Germany.

The first two examples were delivered to French & German Naval Aviations at NAS Nîmes-Garons on December 10th 1965. On July 5th 1968, the Netherlands ordered nine examples of the aircraft. The French Navy sold to Holland four examples and five were built in 1972. On October 25th 1968, Italy, ordered 18 aircraft and Aeritalia & Alfa-Romeo joined the SECBAT. First Italian Atlantic was delivered on June 27th 1972, last one on July 19th 1974. In 1976, three French Atl-1s were sold to Pakistan. A new aircraft as Atlantic Mk2 was studied in 1974, but was finally given up and replaced by the
Atlantique 2 which first flew on May 8th 1981.

The French Aéronavale used forty-six (including prototypes) Atlantics between 1963 and 1996. They had operated within the following units: 21F (1965), 22F (1966-1996), 23F (1972-1991), 24F (1967-1992) and 10S. They flew over Mauritania between 1977 and 1980 (Operation Lamentin), additional missions were carried on over the area between 1978 and 1991 (operation Tacaud, Manta, Silure and Epervier). They also took part in post-Gulf War missions (operation Artimon).

nota : Five examples of the ELINT version a.k.a. Peace Peek Atlantic were built for the Marineflieger (German Naval Aviation).

Italian and German Navies should acquire within 2010 a new common maritime patrol aircraft known as Atlantique 3 to replace their old first generation Atlantics, while French Navy will upgrade its Atlantique 2s into Atlantique 3.


104. 16 ft
31. 75 m
119. 09 ft
36. 30 m
37. 17 ft
11. 33 m
52 910 lb (empty)/ 95 901 lb (full)
24 000 kg (empty)/ 43 500 kg (full)
410 mph
660 km/ h
4 300 nm
7 970 km
12 440 hp
9 276 kW


  • A Thomson-CSF DRAA-2B radar.
  • MAD.
  • Autolycus system.
  • Doppler Janus.
  • ARR-52, ASA-20 and AQA-5 sonobuoys.
  • Flares.
  • Two Omera-35s.


  • AS-12 ASM.
  • AS-20 ASM.
  • Two AS-30 ASMs.
  • AS-37 Martel anti-radar missile.
  • Eight Mk 44 torpedoes (replaced by Mk 46s).
  • L4 torpedo.
  • Nine 250 kg mines.
  • Anti-submarine grenades and bombs.


Two Rolls Royce Tyne RTY.20 Mk 21 turboprop. With those engines the aircraft was able to fly eighteen hours (fourteen for the P-3 Orion and the Nimrod MRA4).


  • 2 pilots.
  • 1 tactical coordinator.
  • 2 navigators.
  • 2 mechanics.
  • 6 electronics engineers.
  • + 1 fellow operator.

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