Maritime surveillance aircraft : P3C-Orion: newly acquired asset

Published: May 23, 2011
The surveillance aircraft were equipped with a variety of enhanced features. COURTESY: US EMBASSY

The surveillance aircraft were equipped with a variety of enhanced features. COURTESY: US EMBASSY

Lockheed-Martin’s P3C Orion is a four-engine turbo-prop, anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft. As a patrol aircraft, it has advanced submarine detection sensors such as directional frequency and ranging sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection equipment.

The planes can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons. The aircraft is designed to have a single integrated tactical picture of the battle space, drawing upon data from aircraft sensors and information from other platforms.

The United States handed two P3C Orion aircraft to Pakistan Navy in late April 2010. By 2012 Pakistan Navy is expected to take delivery of a total of eight P3C aircraft.

Lockheed has upgraded the P-3Cs’ aircraft and mission systems and is providing maintenance under a 2006 contract from the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command.

According to Mike Fralen, director for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors’ maritime surveillance programmes, these aircraft incorporate a variety of enhanced features including communications, electro-optic and infrared systems, data management, controls and displays, mission computers and acoustic processing.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Kamal
    May 23, 2011 - 6:53AM

    These aircrfats are very old but may be a newer versions. These aircrfats are flying Pakistan’s airspace since very long I think since 1985.Recommend

  • May 23, 2011 - 7:28AM

    and the amount that the apologist mullahs like osama bin laden worshippers fazlur rehman and attaur rehman have should be used to buy another aircraft!Recommend

  • Mirza
    May 23, 2011 - 8:14AM

    What a waste of public money? We don’t need these sophisticated and nuclear weapons weapons to fight our real enemies who have killed our 30,000 plus innocent civilians. We have to clean out our army and bases of these terrorists. OBL was living there, this is an inside job, the attack on GHQ was an inside job. After OBL Haqqani’s family is living in a military base in Rawalpindi, to name a few.

    Unless we purge the army nothing would happen and the except a few dozen of army-men, mostly poor civilians would continue to be killed at the hands of these terrorist Wahhabi. No other country including wars with India has killed more Pakistani civilians than these Islamist terrorists. Now they are upset with the army for not providing enough protection to OBL. The chicken have come home to roast. Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    May 23, 2011 - 8:21AM

    The asset is destroyed by another asset.Recommend

  • XYZ
    May 23, 2011 - 8:38AM

    good use of hard earned tax payers money.Recommend

  • father of goat
    May 23, 2011 - 9:11AM

    Is this to replace the one that was damaged in the terrorist attack today?
    Good planning Pakistan navy!!Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    May 23, 2011 - 9:30AM

    “As a patrol aircraft, it has advanced submarine detection sensors such as directional frequency and ranging sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection equipment.”

    Ground safety is the responsibility of the owners not of the donors. Such an advanced technology reduced to ashes by terrorists. We did not deserve it.
    We do not need sophisticated equipment at this time; we need to get rid of radicalized people and their madrasa.Recommend

  • Amadeus
    May 23, 2011 - 10:19AM

    gone baby goneeeRecommend

  • May 23, 2011 - 12:44PM

    Kill the Pakistani capability of maritime surveillance to protect TTP Navy ships.Recommend

  • Gen: Briyani
    May 23, 2011 - 1:07PM

    Pakistani Navy back bone is brokenRecommend

  • Ayub Ahmed
    May 23, 2011 - 1:33PM

    Force that can’t defend itself, how it will defend the country. I think single P3C-Orion cost US$ 35 million and who will be responsible for this loss???Recommend

  • bubu
    May 23, 2011 - 2:34PM

    the two P3C Orion gived by US to Pakistan reported to have been destroyed this night during the attack of a pakistani airbase…..Recommend

  • meekal ahmed
    May 23, 2011 - 3:19PM

    Readers may be interested to know we also have surveillance aircraft from Sweden and China.

    Maintaining different makes must be a night-mare. Recommend

  • Aam aadmi
    May 23, 2011 - 3:48PM

    This is such an advacned and expensive aircraft. But it was parked in an open area in the naval base, open to all threats. A sensible mind will not park his motorbike outside these days.

    Now, increase our taxes so you can buy another one.
    Or better spend this money on Education, Health, clean water. Its more important to give facilities to your next generation rather one big plane standing in open air.Recommend

  • inderjitsahota
    May 23, 2011 - 3:54PM

    all these toys are a waste of time and money,unless pak is able to identify where the threat comes from.Recommend

  • Concerned Citizen
    May 23, 2011 - 5:32PM

    Why aren’nt people thininking out of the box?? The reason why just these aircrafts were destroyed and not any other although Faisal Base has so many jets and there are numerous other kinds of aircrafts. The reason is simple; 2+2. These aircrafts provide intel on submarines and do Talibans have submarines?? No. Does India have submarines?? Yes. Does Israel have submarines? Yes. This has been done to cripple our Intel gathering technology. Make us vulnerable to any attack. One of these aircrafts is in the air at all times. I think we had three. If you guys remember in 99 one such plane was downed in mysterious circumstances, It crashed in the mountains or something while on a mission. Google it and you all will know. The navy has been targetted continuously for the last month. Why? The people on those buses were working on this aircraft too. Its time we started pointing fingers in the right direction. Wake up and smell the coffee. Talibans are paid mercenaries, Give them the right price and they will do anything. Or were they even Taliban?? They are ever ready to take the blame for anything. I rest my case!!Recommend

  • Saboor
    May 23, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Both these newly acquired planes have already been destroyed in Sunday’s taliban attack on the navel base in Karachi.

    To Pakistani news media: you gotta do alot of catch up on your reporting. stop your copy & paste from the western media.Recommend

  • z
    May 23, 2011 - 10:07PM

    bloody indiansRecommend

  • Vicram Singh
    May 23, 2011 - 10:42PM

    DEMAND replacements from Amreeka !!Recommend

  • Akhtar
    May 23, 2011 - 10:56PM

    when America says this is your WAR then this is what America meansRecommend

  • Bambayya
    May 23, 2011 - 11:00PM

    What goes round .. comes around !!!!…. WOW ..Recommend

  • May 24, 2011 - 9:52AM

    There is a purpose behind this step to destroy Maritime ships. NATO forces are now eager to attack Pakistan and use the paid terrorists so called TTP. It was not a security lapse as such kind of breaches exist everywhere. Pakistan has not even blamed India for this because India has already given money to TTP so that they take blame and game is over.Recommend

    May 25, 2011 - 4:37PM

    This is the starting of worse chain of surgency operations ,this incident has given the terrorists to get logistic support from sea shore.Also offering the NATO forces to take advantage of limited eyes of Pak Navy.Part of GREAT GAME.A very serious and attension needing situation for Pakistan.Let us wait for the upcoming results of this bad incident.Totally disappointing situation………… Recommend

  • Gora Saab
    May 25, 2011 - 6:25PM

    Was this attack part of a plot to allow China access to the advanced electronic systems of the P-3 Orion? The Chinese want to copy US military assets, as well as find ways to neurtalise US military assets by electronic warfare. Look at the JF-17 fighter copied from the F-16 of the States and developed in Pakistan, but mass produced in China for one quarter the cost of the USAF F-16. Perhaps the plot of the raid on the Pakistan Navy Base Mehran was a great deal more sophisticated than publically stated. Recommend

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