Lockheed P-3 Orion

Overview

Developed from the Lockheed L-188 Electra civil airliner, although certainly more than just an Electra filled with sensors, the P-3 Orion grew from its humble origins to become the leading maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft of the Cold War, the latest versions of which are still in service today.  

Designed to meet a United States Navy requirement to replace the PV-2 Neptune, the Orion embodied the latest in avionics and sensors and its increased range and weapon load over the Neptune made it a sizeable step forward in the United States’ quest to secure itself and its allies against the threat of Soviet nuclear submarines.  Continually updated, improved and refined the Orion has stayed at the forefront of its field for over 44 years, has been modified for electronic intelligence, scientific research and systems testing roles and is not scheduled for replacement with the US Navy until 2010 at the earliest.

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