P-3 Orion

P-3 Orion

The P-3 Orion is a peerless airborne hunter. Its reputation as the ultimate maritime patrol aircraft has been earned through more than 50 years of service, from the Cuban Missile Crisis to round-the-clock patrols throughout the Cold War, to today's guardian of the seas.

The World Standard in Maritime Patrol Aircraft

With more than 400 aircraft worldwide flown by 21 operators in 17 countries, the P-3 remains a relied-upon asset today. Time and time again, the P-3 proves that it is remarkably well adapted for maritime patrol and support. 

Uniquely suited as the world’s premier multi-mission maritime long-endurance aircraft, the P-3 performs air, surface and subsurface patrol and reconnaissance tasks over extended periods and far from support facilities. Recently, the P-3 provided support for Operation Unified Assistance in Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina, Operation Atalanta in the Gulf of Aden, and the BP Horizon oil rig disaster in the U.S. No other aircraft is better suited for these missions, and Lockheed Martin’s P-3 Mid-Life Upgrade Program will help ensure the P-3 is mission ready for decades to come.


Sophisticated Detection Equipment

The P-3 has continuously evolved over its career to change the way battlefield operations are conducted.

The P-3 can be outfitted with a variety of sophisticated detection equipment to improve operations on all missions:

  • Infrared and long-range electro-optical cameras plus special imaging radar allow P-3s to monitor activity from a comfortable distance
  • Four powerful Allison T56-A-14 engines, and its ability to stay aloft for extremely long periods, support high-altitude reconnaissance and low-altitude pursuits
  • A large internal weapons bay and ten external weapons hardpoints enable the P-3 to carry a variety of weapons


No Matter the Mission, the P-3 Performs

The P-3 is used for a variety of missions, including:

  • Submarine hunting
  • Over-land peacekeeping and surveillance 
  • Targeting strike points on the ground and relaying real-time video surveillance 
  • Scouting ahead of ground convoys and warning of potential dangers
  • Protecting shipping lanes and detering pirates
  • Thwarting drug smuggling attempts
  • Preventing illegal immigration
  • Performing anti-terrorism missions

 P-3 Mid-Life Upgrade Program

The P-3 Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) Program is part of Lockheed Martin’s sustainment offerings and the only certified, low-risk and cost-effective solution to extend aircraft service life.

The P-3 MLU Program is the answer to maintaining effectiveness and reliability in a critical global economy. It consists of a life extension kit replacing the aircraft outer wings, center wing lower section and horizontal stabilizer with new production components. MLU removes all current P-3 airframe flight restrictions and provides 15,000 additional flight hours, greatly enhancing capability leveraged with cost-effectiveness. The design replaces all fatigue-life-limiting structures on the aircraft with enhanced-design components and new improved corrosion-resistant materials that will greatly reduce the cost of ownership over the aircraft’s remaining service life. This is an affordable solution that Lockheed Martin has proven can be installed in 11 months.

The MLU program greatly reduces the cost of ownership over the aircraft's extended service life and will help ensure the P-3 is mission ready for decades to come.

Highlights & Milestones

Media Kit

Media Contact:

Jeff Rhodes
Office: 770-494-3895


Technical Support:

For P-3 Orion aircraft technical support, contact our technical support center at 1-800-952-6569 or orion.support@lmco.com.

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