Lockheed Martin delivers upgraded P-3 Orion to CBP
Lockheed Martin recently delivered its third P-3 Orion with a new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) kit to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
This P-3 Orion joins two additional upgraded P-3s that CBP is currently operating to support its critical homeland security missions. Lockheed Martin delivered the first CBP MLU P-3 in July 2010 and the second airplane in April 2011. From October 2010 to April 2011, CBP used P-3 Orions to stop more than 117,000 pounds of drugs worth more than $1.5 billion from entering the United States. To date, the amount of cocaine seized by CBP crews equals about $240,000 for every hour the P-3 flies.
"US Customs and Border Protection missions are essential in strengthening our nation's safety," said Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations vice president. "Lockheed Martin is committed to partnering with the US Customs and Border Protection team to provide affordable enhancements that will keep its P-3 Orion fleet operating at optimal performance levels for decades to come."
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 than the original material, greatly reducing the cost of ownership for P-3 operators. The MLU is the operationally proven solution that 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.
CBP is under contract with Lockheed Martin to deliver 14 of its 16 P-3 Orions outfitted with MLU kits. Deliveries will occur through 2015. To date, Lockheed Martin has 71 MLU kits under contract with six operators from four nations.
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 data gathering over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: Lockheed Martin
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