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P-3C Orion and EP-3 Aries

The P-3C Orion is a land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft. In operation since the 1960s, its known as the workhorse of the fleet. The P-3C Orion and the signals intelligence variant, the EP-3E Aries, are still in service and performing missions all over the world.
The aircraft maintains a continuous worldwide deployment posture. Since the aircraft began its career in the 60s, and the P-3C Orion and its intelligence variant remains in service, the P-3C Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program includes enhancements in sensors, communications, displays and controls, survivability and vulnerability, and weapons capability.
The P-3C Orion continues at the Navy's frontline. Today's P-3C Update III is the baseline configuration. It has advanced submarine detection sensors, Magnetic Anomaly Detection equipment and may carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons. The most recent updates deliver modern technology and improved acoustic sensors.
Continuing structural engineering and analysis of fatigue data is conducted under the Fatigue Life Management Program (FLMP). Ongoing analysis has led to the grounding of P-3C aircraft due to concerns of fatigue damage in portions of the lower outer wing. This has led the Navy to develop and execute a comprehensive recovery plan that include accelerated FLMP efforts, use of on-hand material to immediately begin required modifications, and a dual-path approach to recovery that include both installation of complete outer wings and targeted material replacement. Ongoing monitoring allows the P-3C to continue its operation during the fleet's transition to the P-8A Poseidon aircraft for maritime patrol and reconnaissance.
Point Of Contact
Naval Air Systems Command/
PMA 290 Public Affairs
(301) 757-8690
Building 2185, Suite 3190-B1
22347 Cedar Point Road
Patuxent River, MD 20670-1161
General Characteristics
Primary Function: Anti-Submarine warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare
Contractor: Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company
Propulsion: Four Allison T-56-A-14 turboprop engines (4,600 hp each)
Length: 116.7 feet (35.57 meters)
Height: 33.7 feet (10.27 meters)
Wingspan: 99.6 feet (30.38 meters)
Weight: Maximum takeoff, 139,760 pounds (63,394 kilograms)
Airspeed: 411 knots; Cruise, 328 knots
Ceiling: 28,300 feet (8,626 meters)
Range: 2,380 nautical mile radius; for three hours on station at 1,500 feet, 1,346 nautical miles
Crew: Three pilots, two naval flight officers, two flight engineers, three sensor operators and one in-flight technician
Armament: AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-84K SLAM-ER, AGM-65F Maverick missiles, Mk46/50/54 torpedoes, rockets, mines and depth bombs
Last Update: 3 December 2018
Photo: A P-3C Orion circles Mt. Fuji in Japan
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