Turkey continues to use a domestically-built maritime patrol aircraft in missions from the Black Sea to the Aegean and from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Libyan coast.
The P235 was produced as a part of the Meltem-2 Project and was added to the Turkish Navy’s inventory in 2014.
The P235 is a derivative of EADS CASA CN235-300 multi-mission tactical transport aircraft in a number of special application versions including tactical transport, maritime patrol, electronic warfare (ESM / ECM and ELINT / COMINT), navigator training and aerial survey.
The P235 maritime patrol version can be fitted with two mk46 torpedoes or Exocet M-39 or Harpoon air-launch anti-ship missiles.
The aircraft had joined the Dynamic Manta NATO drill, alongside U.S., Spanish, French, German, Canadian, U.K., Italian and Greek forces.
Aside from the P235, Turkey had joined the drill with the TCG Salihreis frigate, Preveze-class TCG 18 Mart frigate, Gabya-class TCG Gaziantep frigate.
The Dynamic Manta 2020 drill — an annual advanced anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare exercise — kicked off on Feb. 24 off Italy’s Sicily Island and ended on March 6.
The TCB 655 maritime patrol aircraft, which completed all of its planned sorties, was also displayed during the drill.
In the joint drill with the Italian ITS Todaro submarine, the French FS Provence frigate and the Spanish ESBS Cristobal Colon frigate, Turkey’s maritime patrol aircraft provided air support for over four hours and then returned to Sigonella naval air station in Sicily, Italy.
The Turkish Naval Forces have six patrol aircraft capable of underwater aerial sensing, electronic warfare and submarine warfare. They are among the strategic elements of the Turkish Armed Forces especially in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean.
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