September 5 - Today, Pakistan Navy at a ceremony held at PNS Mehran Naval Air Station, Karachi, phased out veteran Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic reconnaissance/patrol/anti-submarine/anti-ship aircraft. Atlantic aircraft serial number '94' was present at this ceremony.
The twin-engine turboprop aircraft type served Pakistan Navy for 36 years from 1976 to 2012 and flew a total of 7,700 missions accumulating more than 28,000 flight hours.
Quoted below is information on Pakistan Navy website (www.paknavy.gov.pk) about 29 Anti-Submarine Warfare Squadron (ASW) that was raised with the induction of Atlantic aircraft in 1976.
29 ASW SQUADRON
The Squadron was raised in the aftermath of the analysis of 1971 War. It was established that lack of early warning from the seaward i.e., absence of PN air surveillance capability allowed the Indian Navy Ships to close Karachi harbour for attacks. The basic aim, therefore, was to acquire an efficient air surveillance asset and achieve additional benefits like ASW, SAR and photographic capabilities. After studying various available options, the French Atlantics were selected and acquisition formalities were completed in 1974. Finally the Squadron was raised in 1976, with three Atlantics. As the raising year of 1976 coincided with 29th year of independence of Pakistan, this also became the reason to name "29 ASW Squadron". The prefix ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“ASWÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ highlights the Anti Submarine Warfare credentials of the aircraft i.e., to accomplish all the phases of ASW, right from initial detection to the eventual destruction of enemy submarine, all by itself.
In 1989, PN Atlantics were modified to fire Exocet Missile. With this modification, PN Atlantics became the first LRMPs to acquire ASV capability. Even the French Atlantics, at that time, did not have this advantage. To maintain a qualitative edge in the field of LRMP operations, PN Atlantics were modified with state of the art French sensors like ESM, Acoustic Processor, Radar, Navigation System etc, in the mid nineties. The latest sensors have made PN Atlantic Fleet second to none in the region and at par with the latest French Atlantic-II and other modernised LRMPs of the world.
Atlantic is being utilized in almost every facet of Naval Operations. This aircraft because of its inherent advantages of multi role capability, high operational endurance, counter detection advantage, weapon superiority and being uniquely suited for immediate response across the wide spectrum of conflict has become an ideal choice of every force commander. PN Atlantics is by far, the fastest player in the Maritime Warfare scenarios affecting Pakistan. The PN Atlantics are integral to almost all the naval operations perceived to be undertaken by PN Fleet.