Norway Re-Winging, Refurbishing Its P-3 Orions
In February 2007, the Government of Norway announced a contract with Lockheed Martin to build new production service life extension kits for 6 Royal Norwegian Air Force P-3C/N Orion long-range maritime patrol aircraft, and offer engineering and other support. It’s estimated that the SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) will add more than 15,000 flying hours to each aircraft, representing 20-25 additional years of service covering NATO operations and Norway’s large over-water economic exclusion zone (EEZ). Lockheed Martin adds that the repairs will lift flying restrictions currently imposed on the global P-3 Orion fleet, due to aging problems.
In order to accomplish these goals, the program aims to replace all “fatigue life limiting” structures with enhanced design components and improved, corrosion resistant materials. The Norwegian life extension kit draws on the November 2005 developments covered in “Lockheed Opens Wing Production Line to Keep P-3 Orions Flying“; replacements will include the outer wings, the center wing lower surface, horizontal stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer leading edges, and nacelle components.
Contracts and Key Events
Aug 31/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] Norway’s official request to buy various upgrades for 4 of its P-3C aircraft. this would involve 4 AN/USQ-78B Acoustic Processor Technology Refresh (APTR) kits, 4 AN/ASQ-227 Aircraft Mission Computers, and 2 Tactical Mobile Acoustic Support Systems, plus spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, and other forms of U.S. Government and contractor support. The estimated cost is $95 million.
The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation in Owego, NY. Industrial offset agreements associated with this proposed sale are expected, but must be defined in contract negotiations. If a deal is negotiated, implementation of this proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor representatives to travel to Norway to participate in periodic program technical reviews, training and support visits, and maintenance and support visits semi-annually for a period of 4 years.
Sept 25/09: Lockheed Martin delivers the first set of new production P-3 Orion wings to the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who are the launch customer for its re-winging production line.
The new production wings are the cornerstone of Lockheed Martin’s P-3 Aircraft Service Life Extension Program (ASLEP), which replaces the outer wings, center wing lower surface assembly, horizontal stabilizer, wing and horizontal stabilizer leading edges and various filet fairings. New alloys are employed that provide a 5-fold increase in corrosion resistance.
Feb 28/07: Lockheed Martin announces the $95 million P-3 ASLEP contract with Norway. The RNoAF will receive 6 life extension kits, 2 conditional kits and engineering support under the contract.