CPI Aerostructures will produce aircraft structural assemblies for the US Navy’s P-3 Orion aircraft under a contract awarded by Lockheed Martin.

The navy’s P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft that features advanced submarine detection sensors including directional frequency and ranging sonobuoys as well as magnetic anomaly detection equipment.

The 116.7ft-long, 33.7ft-wide and 99.6ft-high aircraft can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons.

The aircraft can accommodate a crew of 11 and fly at a maximum speed of 411kt.

The primary functions of the aircraft include maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

Work under the $1.03m contract will start immediately and deliveries will run through mid-2011.