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Lockheed Martin delivers second mid-life upgrade P-3 Orion

27th April 2011 - 06:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Lockheed Martin has delivered the second P-3 Orion with new Mid-Life Upgrade enhancements to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

This newly re-winged P-3 joins CBP's first upgraded Orion, which is currently operational. These aircraft support the critical missions of interdicting and preventing acts of terrorism, and the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband toward or across the borders of the United States.

"We are proud of the partnership we have with US Customs and Border Protection and are committed to providing them a cost-effective solution to maintain and sustain their P-3s for decades to come," said Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations vice president.

Lockheed Martin's P-3 MLU program provides a technically proven, low risk solution by replacing the aircraft outer wings, center wing lower surface and horizontal stabilizer with new production components.

The MLU replaces all fatigue-life limiting structures with enhanced-design components and incorporates a new metal alloy that is five times more corrosion resistant, greatly reducing the cost of ownership for P-3 operators. The MLU removes current aircraft flight restrictions and extends the structural service life of the P-3 up to 15,000 hours, adding more than 20 years of operational use.

P-3 Orion is the standard for maritime patrol and reconnaissance, and is used for homeland security, hurricane reconnaissance, anti-piracy operations, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, intelligence gathering and antisubmarine warfare. P-3s were used to assist in air traffic control and data gathering over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Source: Lockheed Martin

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