P-3C Orion / EP-3E ARIES II

Product Type:

P-3C Orion: ASW, ASuW, and ISR Aircraft
EP-3E: Signals Intelligence Aircraft (SIGINT)

Using Service (US):

Navy

Program Status:

No more new aircraft will be procured.
Focus is on upgrades and sustainment.

Prime Contractor:

Lockheed Martin Corporation

The P-3C Orion

About the P-3C/EP-3E:





The Lockheed P-3C Orion and EP-3E ARIES II are long-range maritime surveillance aircraft. Both aircraft are powered by four Rolls-Royce Allison T56-A-14 turboprop engines with 4,600 shp each. The P-3 has been the U.S. Navy's frontline, land-based maritime patrol aircraft since the 1960s. According to Lockheed Martin, more than 400 P-3s are in service with 21 operators from 16 countries.

The P-3C Orion, first delivered in 1969, performs Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) in support of battle group and littoral operations. The P-3C Orion will eventually be replaced by the Boeing P-8A Poseidon Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft and the MQ-4C Triton BAMS UAV. The P-3C is equipped with a Raytheon AN/APS-137 multi-mission surveillance radar. Other systems onboard include the Lockheed Martin AN/ALQ-78 airborne electronic surveillance receiver, L-3 Communications MX-15 surveillance and targeting turret aka AN/ASX-6, AN/ARC-230 Airborne HF Radio, AN/USQ-130 Data Link, AN/ASW-60 Autopilot, AN/ASQ-81 Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) system (for submarine detection), AN/ASA-65 magnetic compensator, BAE Systems AN/APX-118 IFF transponder, ITT Exelis AN/ALR-95 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system, AN/ALR-66 Radar Warning Receiver, Alliant Techsystems AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning System, and the AN/ARR-72 sonobuoy receiving system and AN/ARR-78 sonobuoy communication link.

During the 1990s, twelve P-3C Orion aircraft were converted to the EP-3E ARIES II configuration to replace older ARIES I aircraft. The EP-3E ARIES II (Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System II) is the Navy's only land-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft. The 11 aircraft in the Navy's inventory are based on the P-3C Orion airframe and provide fleet and theater commanders worldwide with near real-time tactical SIGINT. With sensitive receivers and high-gain dish antennas, the EP-3E exploits a wide range of electronic emissions from deep within targeted territory. The last EP-3E ARIES II aircraft was delivered in 1997. The replacement aircraft for the EP-3E will be the MQ-4C Triton BAMS UAV.

U.S. Navy P-3Cs and EP-3Es have recently been heavily modified as part of a Lockheed Martin Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) program to ensure uninterrupted P-3/EP-3 operations for an additional 20–25 years or 15,000 flight hours. The MLU Program replaced the aircraft's outer wings, the center wing lower section, the horizontal stabilizers, and the horizontal stabilizer leading edges.



Armament/Weapons:

The P-3C carries a mixed payload of weapons in eight internal bomb bay stations and on ten external under-wing hardpoints with a maximum capacity of 20,000 pounds of mixed ordnance. The aircraft carries AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-84E SLAM, AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER; AGM-65 Maverick missiles; and Mk 46/50/54 torpedoes. The EP-3E carries no ordnance.



Mission/Role:

The P-3C Orion performs Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW); and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The EP-3E is a Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft and its mission is to detect and track enemy radars and communication systems.



FY 2014 DoD Program:

FY 2014 provides funds in the amount of $36.8 million and $71.1 million for modifications to the P-3C and EP-3E, respectively. FY 14 also provides $0.8 million in RDT&E funds for the P-3C.

The P-3C modification budget begins a steep decline starting in FY 14 due to scheduled transition from P-3C to P-8A aircraft. The budget supports the remaining P-3 variants through 2020 in order to complete the P-8A transition. The overall goal of the modifications budgeted in FY 2014 is to continue aircraft sustainment, including: USQ-78 improvements (part of Update III), comm/nav/surveillance weapon system improvements, upgrades/modifications to airframe components/systems (including outer wing replacements), safety improvements and key system obsolescence upgrades.



FY 2015 DoD Program:

FY 2015 provides funds in the amount of $2.8M and $67.9 million for modifications to the P-3C and EP-3E, respectively. FY 15 also provides $1.7M in RDT&E funds for the P-3C.

For more information, click to view the Complete FY 2015 Navy P-3C Budget and the Complete FY 2015 Navy EP-3E Budget.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

Last Update: October 23, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



Lockheed Martin's P-3 Site: P-3 Orion



YouTube: The Lockheed P-3 Orion | YouTube Videos



Fact Sheet: Lockheed Martin | P-3 Orion

P-3C/EP-3E U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the P-3C Orion and EP-3E ARIES II in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of P-3C Orion and EP-3E ARIES II aircraft in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the P-3C & EP-3E Defense Programs

Download Official DoD Budget Documentation

Modification of P-3C Aircraft (NAVY) Modification of EP-3E Aircraft (NAVY)
Specifications

Aircraft Specifications: P-3C Orion and EP-3E ARIES II

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Aircraft Specifications | P-3C Orion

Primary Function: Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and Anti-surface warfare (ASuW)
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Power Plant: 4x Allison (now Rolls-Royce) T56-A-14 turboprop engines with 4,600 shp (each engine)
Wingspan: 99 ft 6 in (30.36 m)
Length: 116 ft 7 in (35.57 m)
Height: 33 ft 7 in (10.27 m)
Weight (Empty): 77,200 lbs (35,018 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 139,760 lbs (63,394 kg)
Payload: 20,000 lbs (9,072 kg)
Speed: Cruise: 328 kts/403 mph (644 km/h); Max: 411 kts/466 mph (745 km/h)
Rate of Climb: 3,140 ft/min (15.91 m/s)
Service Ceiling: 28,300 ft (8,626 m)
Range: Maximum mission range: 2,380 nm/2,739 miles (4,410 km);
for three hours on station at 1,500 ft: 1,346 nm/1,549 miles (2,494 km)
Armament/Weapons:
Eight internal bomb bay stations and ten external underwing hardpoints with a maximum capacity of 20,000 pounds of mixed ordnance.
Weapons Carried: AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-84E SLAM, AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER;
AGM-65 Maverick; Mk 46/50/54 torpedoes; Mk 60 CAPTOR Deep Water Mines; Mk 62/63 Quickstrike Naval Mines.
Crew: P-3C: 11 (three pilots, two naval flight officers, two flight engineers, three sensor operators, one in-flight technician)
Price/Unit Cost: Unknown
First Flight: November 25, 1959
Deployed: Initial Operational Capability (IOC): P-3A August 1962 / P-3C August 1969

Aircraft Specifications | EP-3E ARIES II

Primary Function: Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Power Plant: 4x Allison (now Rolls Royce) T56-A-14 turboprop engines with 4,600 shp (each engine)
Wingspan: 99 ft 6 in (30.36 m)
Length: 116 ft 7 in (35.57 m)
Height: 33 ft 7 in (10.27 m)
Weight (Empty): 77,200 lbs (35,018 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 139,760 lbs (63,394 kg)
Speed: Cruise: 328 kts/403 mph (644 km/h); Max: 411 kts/466 mph (745 km/h)
Rate of Climb: 3,140 ft/min (15.91 m/s)
Service Ceiling: 28,300 ft (8,626 m)
Range: Maximum mission range: 2,380 nm/2,739 miles (4,410 km);
for three hours on station at 1,500 ft: 1,346 nm/1,549 miles (2,494 km)
Armament/Weapons: None
Crew: 22+
Price/Unit Cost: Unknown
First Flight: Unknown
Deployed: Unknown


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