The Pakistan Navy inducted its first Lineage 1000E jet last week in a ceremony at the PNS Mehran naval station in Karachi. Embraer’s business aircraft will be converted in the coming months to the role of maritime patrol, under a contract with Leonardo, among other companies.
The Lineage was purchased used and flew in China. In the image with Pakistani Navy officers, the Brazilian jet still bears a civilian paint job, with only the applied military emblems.
The business jet transformation project, a variant of the E190 commercial aircraft, does not involve Embraer. The Pakistani government has decided to choose Lineage as the platform for the Long Range Maritime Patrol program, which will be called ‘Sea Sultan‘.
Leonardo would have been contracted to supply all the electronics, while the South African company Paramount will review the aircraft and make some necessary adaptations. There is no forecast for the start of operation of the Sea Sultan.
Leonardo has experience in adapting civil aircraft for maritime warfare missions, having done this work with C-27J Spartan and ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprops. However, due to the originality of the project, it is believed that the program will take time to be concluded.
The Pakistan Navy plans to convert 10 Lineage aircraft that will replace the P-3 Orion currently in service. The technical details of the project are not known so far either. Certainly MAD sensors, electronic warfare equipment, reconnaissance and a compatible weapons system will be included.
The Pakistani solution, however, contrasts with India, a country with which it maintains tense relations. The Indians preferred to order the P-8 Poseidon, a maritime patrol aircraft based on the Boeing 737-800 and which has been well accepted in the market.