Lockheed restarts P-3 Orion wing production line
Lockheed Martin restarted the wing production line for the Canadian and Chilean P-3 Orion Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) programme on 4 March.
The wing line for the P-3 Orion aircraft was last in production in August 2014. According to the company, the gap in production extended the opportunities for global operators to assess their fleet needs.
The MLU programme will see the replacement of the centre wing, outer wings, horizontal stabiliser and the leading edges of the horizontal stabiliser. All the necessary fatigue life-limiting structures will be replaced for lower sustainment and maintenance costs. New alloys will be used to provide five times greater corrosion resistance.
The P-3 Orion aircraft is used for maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, drug interdiction, hurricane hunting, fire-fighting and anti-submarine surveillance. The MLU will see it operational for 20-25 more years. The US Navy, Norway and the US Customs and Border Protection are other operators of this aircraft.
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