The Italian Guardia di Finanza (GdF) has been operating one of its P-72B patrol aircraft from Malaga airport since the end of February for the benefit of the Indalo operation, which was activated in southern Spain to mainly control illegal immigration by the European Agency for Coastal and Border Surveillance (FRONTEX) and led by the Spanish Civil Guard.
The Guardia di Finanza, which is part of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, has commissioned Leonardo 4 units of this Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) based on the passenger ATR-42-600, which Leonardo commercially calls ATR-42MP. The first two P-72B were delivered to the in November 2019.
Barely a year and a half after his extradition, up to two of them have already been deployed on behalf of the Indalo operation, which FRONTEX extended for another year last January, mainly to control illegal immigration to the United States. Southern Spain, with particular attention to the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the major entry routes into Europe.
The Italian contribution to the Indalo operation is currently being finalized by a liaison officer assigned to the International Coordination Center or International Coordination Center (ICC) of the operation at the General Directorate of the Civil Guard in Madrid.
Operation Indalo, in addition to controlling immigration, targets drug trafficking, marine pollution and illegal fishing without neglecting rescue and rescue or search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean if necessary, which the versatile ATR72MP perfectly handles. Equipped with complex sensors and with a large flight autonomy of 10 hours plus a reserve of 45 minutes.
We are facing one of the most complex FRONTEX operations, in which 230 agents from other nations of this European organization are taking part together with the security forces of the Spanish state and the armed forces. In addition, it works with various sea and air means, as we were able to determine in September 2020 at the Rota naval base (Cdiz) when a helicopter of the above-mentioned GdF was used in addition to another helicopter of the Latvian border guards (Julio Maz Sanz)
Photo: The first P-72B of the four GdF. (Photo: Leonardo)
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