The maiden flight of the Atlantique 2, the new generation French Atlantic naval aircraft, was completed at Toulouse-Blagnac airport on May 8, 1981.
The Atlantique 2 (ATL 2) In the middle of the ‘70s, in order to confront the increasing threat represented by the development of submarines and surface vessels, the French Navy decided to put the new generation Atlantics into service.
Two ATL 2 prototypes were made on the base of two Atlantics of the first production batch (numbers 42 and 69). They were modified to carry the different parts of the new weapons system and equipped with improvements planned for the production standard. The ATL2 made its first flight at Toulouse-Blagnac on May 8, 1981, piloted by Jacques Jesberger, flight engineer Jean-Pierre Bussenot and flight engineer Pierre Harquin.
In June 1982 the Ministry of Defense announced the official production launch of the ATL 2. Running two years behind the schedule that had been set (May 1984) for budgetary reasons, the industrial contract was notified, and orders for production limited to 28 aircraft. This caused a very slow start and a low rate of yearly production: one aircraft every two months.
The ATL 2’s airframe was produced by the European Consortium SECBAT (Dornier and MBB for West Germany, Dassault-Breguet and Aérospatiale for France, Aeritalia for Italy and SABCA-SONACA for Belgium).
The Tyne turboprops were made in cooperation with Great Britain (Rolls-Royce), France (Snecma) and Belgium (FN). The first production model was delivered to the French Navy in October 1989.