Luxembourg is providing the Armed Forces of Malta's Air Wing with a leased CASA 212.CC maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) for use during the ongoing Frontex Operation ''Nautilus''.

The aircraft, which is due to arrive in Malta today, belongs to CAE Aviation of Luxemburg and will be flown from Luqa by an AFM crew under the supervision of an instructor from the firm.

Frontex is currently operating ''Nautilus'' in the central Mediterranean.

AFM senior pilots and technicians have been following training on this aircraft for the past few weeks.

The CASA 212 first flew in 1973 and is still in production. It is a highly successful and capable short take-off and landing aircraft which is operated worldwide by several air arms and civilian companies, mainly in the transport role. It is equipped with a powerful nose-mounted search radar, thermal imaging and homing equipment. A ramp at the rear makes it possible to drop survival equipment from the air.

The CASA 212 will be the largest fixed wing aircraft to be operated by the AFM.

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