Lockheed Martin delivered the fourth P-3 Orion with new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) modifications to U.S. Customs and Border Protection two months ahead of schedule on Jan. 20.
The MLU installation and phase depot maintenance (PDM) were accomplished in record time of 11 months at Lockheed Martin’s Greenville facility.
“I am very proud of the Lockheed Martin team in Greenville for demonstrating that we can provide significant value with our OEM knowledge, high quality work and our commitment to meeting our customer’s delivery schedule,” said Ray Burick, vice president for P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations.
This is the fourth MLU P-3 delivery to CBP in 18 months. It joins the CBP P-3 MLU fleet that supports homeland security and drug interdiction missions. In FY 2011, CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM) P-3 aircraft provided more than 34 percent of total Joint Interagency Task Force South air mission on-station hours.
CBP P-3 aircraft were directly involved in the interdiction of more than 153,000 pounds of drugs seized or disrupted, representing 62 percent of JIATF-S seizures.
The total estimated street value of this contraband is over $1.8 billion. OAM P-3 aircrews participated in the majority of self-propelled, semi-submersible intercepts by JIATF-S.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection missions are vital in protecting and strengthening our nation’s security,” said John Norris, Lockheed Martin P-3 CBP program manager.
“Through a strategic partnership, Lockheed Martin provides the U.S. Customs and Border Protection team with affordable enhancements to keep its P-3 Orion fleet operating at optimal performance levels for decades to come.”
The MLU replaces all fatigue life-limiting structures with enhanced-design components and incorporates a new metal alloy that is five times more corrosion resistant than the original material, greatly reducing the cost of ownership for P-3 operators.
The MLU solution removes current aircraft flight restrictions and extends the structural service life of the P-3 up to 15,000 hours, adding more than 20 years of operational use.
The 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 natural disaster relief support.