The award of a contract for the second phase of the upgrade programme for Germany’s Marineflieger’s eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft was announced by Lockheed Martin on November 1. The $158.5 million Mission System Refresh programme will fit the P-3Cs with the company’s open-architecture Airborne Tactical Mission System and upgrade other systems. These will include the acoustic processor dubbed the Airborne Rack-mounted Commercial Portable Processor (ARCP2).
The Mission System Refresh programme, which is being carried out by Lockheed Martin and Airbus Space and Defence, began in 2016 and will run through 2022. It extends airframe service life by an additional 15,000 hours and integrates improved avionics and flight systems. The three-phase effort is intended to keep the P-3Cs operational until 2035. Germany’s P-3Cs were acquired from the Netherlands in 2006 and are flown by Marinefliegergeschwader 3 (Naval Air Squadron 3) ‘Graf Zeppelin’ from Naval Nordholz in northern Germany. David C Isby