Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion

Country of Origin:United States of America.
Type:Maritime patrol and ASW aircraft.
Powerplant:Four 3660kW (4910shp) Allison T56-A-14 turboprpos, driving four blade propellers.
Performance:Max speed 760km/h (411kt), patrol speed at 1500ft 380km/h (206kt). Service ceiling 28,300ft. Ferry range 8945km (4830nm). Max endurance with four engines 12hrs 20min, with two engines running 17hrd 10min.
Weights:Empty 27,890kg (61,490lb), max normal takeoff 61,235kg (135,000lb).
Accommodations:Normal crew of 10 comprises two pilots, flight engineer and a navigaor on flight deck, with a tactical coordinator, two acoustic sensor operators, a MAD operator and two observer/ sonobuoy loaders. Has seating for relief crew. Cockpit picture.
Armament:Internal weapons bay can carry eight torpedoes or eight depth charges. A total of ten underwing hardpoints can carry upto eight AGM-86 Harpoons, or ten torpedoes or ten mines. Mission warload.
Operators:Australia, Chile, Greece, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, USA.
History:The Orion was developed as a US Navy requirement to replace thw Lockheed P2V/SP-2 Neptune.

Lockheed submission was based on a shortened Electra airliner and this aircraft was selected for development in April 1958. The first Orion prototype flew for the first time in November 25 1959.

Features of the Orion include a MAD mounted in a boom extending from the tali and an internal weapons bay forward of the wing. Initial production was of the P-3A, while P-3B with more powerful engines were delivered from 1965.

The current P-3C was first introduced in 1969 and featured a new APS-115 radar, MAD and processing equipment. The P-3C was built in progressively improved Update I, II, II.5 and III forms.

The US Navy also employs a number of special missions developments. The VP-3 is a VIP/staff transport conversion of early P-3A/Bs, UP-3A is a utility transport, WP-3As perform weather reconnaissance, RP-3As are designed for oceanographic reconnaisance and NP-3As are used for trails work. Two EP-3As and three RP-3As are used for range support work, while the EP-3J is an EW trainer.

Over 700 Orions have been built, including 100 under licence by Kawasaki in Japan. US production ceased in 1995, pending further orders.