The Atlantique 2 (ATL2) is a French Navy maritime patrol aircraft originally designed for anti-submarine warfare. However, its detection, communication, intelligence and attack capabilities have for many years been regularly exploited on land and more particularly in the Sahelo-Sahelian Band (BSS). Thus, ATL2 has again joined this theater of operations, which it had left a few months ago, to reinforce the air force at the planned air base (BAP) of Niamey, for the benefit of Force Barkhane .
Its “Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance” (ISR) capabilities contribute to the intelligence system deployed in BSS. Associated with the REAPER drones and fighter planes of the French Air Force and Space, it offers better theater coverage for intelligence gathering. Thanks to its numerous sensors, the ATL2 makes it possible to precisely work out the situation on the ground, to support the ground forces. With an autonomy of ten hours, it can cover a very large area.
Armed with laser-guided bombs, which it can deliver autonomously, the ATL2 is able to support the targeting chain, from target detection to destruction.
Arrived at the Niamey BAP on September 20, 2021, this aircraft completed its first operational mission in the theater in support of Task Force Takuba, less than 48 hours after its deployment. One-off reinforcement regularly engaged in the Sahel, he will remain deployed there for several months.