P-3C Orion

Airbus Defence and Space and Lockheed Martin Overseas Services have received a contract to jointly perform a Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU), re-winging, of the German Navy fleet of P-3C Orion maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

Under the eight-year contract, which was awarded by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), the companies will be responsible to upgrade eight aircraft.

Within the partnership, Airbus Defence and Space will carry out integration, installation, and check out of the MLU-K15 kits for the P-3C Orion aircraft at Manching, Germany.

Lockheed Martin P-3 Programs director Mark Jarvis said: "Once installed, these new wings will extend the life of each German Navy P-3 by 15,000 hours per aircraft, which will allow the German Navy fleet to meet future mission requirements.

"These new wings will extend the life of each German Navy P-3 by 15,000 hours per aircraft."

"We look forward to working with Airbus to provide the German Navy, and specifically Naval Air Wing 3 at NAS Nordholz, the improved capability that these wings will provide."

The latest agreement will see the production of eight MLU-kits, which includes outer wing, centre fuselage, and horizontal stabiliser, by LMOSC. The kits will be manufactured in Marietta, Georgia, as well as other locations in the US.

The 35.61m-long P-3C maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft has been designed to support missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as search-and-rescue and drug interdiction.

Airbus Defence and Space currently offers full in-service support for the German Navy’s P-3C Orion fleet.

Image: Lockheed Martin-built P-3C Orion maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Sgt Gary Coppage.