The first Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion with new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) enhancements was delivered to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in ceremonies last Wednesday in GREENVILLE, S.C.
This aircraft is the first of many that will benefit with increased availability and reliability for critical homeland security missions. It will soon make its first flight and will immediately be a game-changer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“The P-3 Orion is unsurpassed in its flexibility in maritime patrol and reconnaissance,” said Ralph Heath, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “The Mid-Life Upgrade will ensure this national asset continues to provide second-to-none service for the next 20 years.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will receive up to 14 upgraded P-3s for deliveries planned through 2015.
“We are excited about our partnership with Customs and Border Protection,” said Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin P-3 Programs vice president, “and we are committed to providing them with modernization enhancements to sustain the P-3 for decades to come.”
P-3 Orion is the standard for maritime patrol and reconnaissance, and is used for homeland security, hurricane reconnaissance, anti-piracy operations, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, intelligence gathering, antisubmarine warfare and, recently, to assist in air traffic control and data gathering over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.