Lockheed Martin delivers upgraded CBP P-3 Orion
Lockheed Martin has announced that the fourth P-3 Orion to undergo the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) modification programme has been completed and delivered to the US Customs and Border Protection agency two months ahead of schedule.
The P-3 Orion will join the CBP P-3 MLU fleet that supports homeland security and drug interdiction missions. In FY 2011, CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM) P-3 aircraft were directly involved in the interdiction of more than 153,000 pounds of drugs seized or disrupted.
According to the company, the MLU programme replaces all fatigue life-limiting structures with enhanced-design components and incorporates a new metal alloy that is five times more corrosion resistant than the original material, greatly reducing the cost of ownership for P-3 operators. The MLU solution 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.
The 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, antisubmarine warfare and, recently, to assist in air traffic control and natural disaster relief support.
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