$56M for P-3C Orion Surface Attack Upgrades
Lockheed Martin Corp., Maritime Systems and Sensors, St. Paul, Minn., is being awarded a ceiling amount $56 million modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-04-D-0082) to exercise an option for the procurement and installation of P-3C Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP) Kits required to convert P-3C UII.5 aircraft to the P-3 AIP configuration.
The P-3C Orion fleet, which is due to be replaced by the P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft beginning around 2010, is receiving a wide range of upgrades and special maintenance in order to keep the planes effective and flying. Nevertheless, this particular upgrade may have special relevance to the war on terror.
While the P-3C Orion fleet is facing airframe wear issues, their loiter time and surveillance capabilities are proving valuable in war theaters like Kosovo and Afghanistan, as well as their classic maritime patrol role. The P-3C Update III Anti-SUrface Warfare Improvement Program [ASUWIP] Aircraft offers improvements in Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence; surveillance capabilities; and survivability. It also incorporates the Maverick Missile System, a TV-guided precision strike missile that is very useful against ground targets as well as small ships.
P-3C Orions modified to this capabilitity level could easily loiter high over battlegrounds in the Global War on Terror, using their surveillance capabilities and Maverick missiles in support of ground operations as well as maritime surveillance and interdiction.
Work on this contract will be performed in St. Paul, MN and is expected to be completed in December 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD issued the contract. See other DID articles related to the P-3C Orion