US surveillance aircraft will join Philippine Naval exercise

A U.S. Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft will be participating in the Philippine Navy's naval exercise off Maasim Point, Sarangani Bay, from September 3 to 7.

The P-3C Orion is described as a "land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft" by the web site of the US Naval Air Systems Command.

The activity, which is the second part of the Coast Watch South Capability Exercise 2012, will involve the deployment of BRP Teotimo Figuracion (PG-389), with BRP Salvador Abcede as alternate vessel, a Navy Islander aircraft, a naval boarding team, two light patrol boats and reserve units.

A fishing boat, the FB Explorer, will serve as contact of interest.

Participating also is a Coast Guard boarding team, one Philippine National Police fast boat, a police boarding team and a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency boarding unit.

Navy Lt./JG Juffrey P. Alonzo, acting spokesman of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, said 10 local government agencies from Davao and General Santos cities will also be on hand.

He added that this maneuvers are focused on simulating the actual operations of the coast watch systems and its coast watch stations in addressing maritime security in Eastern Mindanao.

The Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s.

Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner.

The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or "Mad Boom," used for the magnetic detection of submarines.

Over the years, the aircraft has seen numerous design advancements, most notably to its electronics packages.

The P-3 Orion is still being used by numerous navies and air forces around the world, primarily for maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

A total of 734 P-3s have been built  and, by 2012, it will join the handful of military aircraft, such as the Boeing B-52 "Stratofortress," which has served 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case the United States Navy.

The US Navy's remaining P-3C aircraft will eventually be replaced by the Boeing P-8A Poseidon.

(PNA)

Specifications:

Primary Function: Antisubmarine warfare(ASW)/Antisurface warfare (ASUW) 
Contractor: Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company 
Unit Cost: $36 million 
Propulsion: Four Allison T-56-A-14 turboprop engines (4,900 shaft horsepower each) 
Length: 116 feet 7 inches (35.57 meters) 
Wingspan: 99 feet 6 inches (30.36 meters) 
Height: 33 feet 7 inches (10.27 meters) 
Weight: Max gross take-off: 139,760 pounds (63,394.1 kg) 
Speed: maximum - 411 knots (466 mph, 745 kmph); cruise - 328 knots (403 mph, 644 kmph) 
Ceiling: 28,300 feet (8,625.84 meters) 
Range: Maximum mission range - 2,380 nautical miles (2,738.9 miles);  
for three hours on station at 1,500 feet - 1,346 nautical miles (1,548.97 miles) 
Crew: 11 
Armament: 20,000 pounds (9 metric tons) of ordnance including:Harpoon (AGM-84D) cruise missile, SLAM (AGM-84E) missiles, Maverick (AGM 65) air-to-ground missiles, MK-46/50 torpedoes, rockets, mines, depth bombs, and special weapons 
Date Deployed: First flight, November 1959; Operational, P-3A August 1962 and P-3C August 1969

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