Lockheed Martin has restarted the wing production line for the P-3 Orion Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) program for Canada and Chile this week, the company said in a statement in 5 March. The P-3 wing line was last in production in August 2014. The gap in production extended the opportunities for global operators to assess their fleet needs.
“We are very excited about restarting the wing line here in Marietta and we are very proud of the partnership with Canada and Chile,” said Mark Jarvis, P-3 program manager. “We look forward to building wings for the many P-3 operators across the globe.”
The MLU replaces the outer wings, center wing, horizontal stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer leading edges. All necessary fatigue life-limiting structures are replaced, leading to significantly reduced maintenance and sustainment costs. New alloys are employed that provide a five-fold increase in corrosion resistance.
The P-3 Orion plays a vital role in maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, drug interdiction, hurricane hunting, fire-fighting and anti-submarine surveillance. Due to the MLU, it will support operators for 20-25 more years.
“The P-3 Orion is the gold standard in maritime reconnaissance,” said Jarvis, “We are excited to keep this venerable workhorse flying for many years to come.”
In addition to Canada and Chile, other MLU customers include U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the U.S. Navy and Norway.
Source: Lockheed Martin
Featured image: A P-3C Orion approaches the runway (Image © US Navy)