Five aircraft were converted in the early 1970’s under the ‘Peace Peek’ project by the American E-Systems Corporation. A further update to the aircraft cost $49.9M in 1980. The aircraft are used by the West German Naval Air Service for SIGINT & COMINT duties over the Baltic.
The aircraft are easily recognised by a large black ventral radome in weapons bay, longitudinal pods on the wingtips and a small radome on top of vertical stabiliser. One aircraft crashed, the remaining 4 serve as part of the 2nd Staffel of Marinefliegergeschwader 2 at Nordholz alongside standard Atlantic’s.
The French Navy have also used Atlantic’s in a SIGINT role during the conflict in Chad.
By 2006 only three of the original five aircraft remained in service. Under current plans one further aircraft will be retired in Jan 2007 and the final aircraft will be withdrawn from service in Jan 2010. From 2010 the SIGINT Atlantic's role will be undertaken by five Northrop/Grumman/EADS RQ-4B Eurohawks, a version of the Global Hawk, but fitted with an EADS developed SIGINT payload.
Updated 8 Oct 06