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Lockheed Martin | Logistics Innovations | Specialty Aircraft | USA

Delivering Your Plane, By Truck

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Truckin’(click to view full) As part of Taiwan’s much-reported military modernization program, it’s ordering 12 P-3C Orion sea control aircraft to monitor its sea lanes, hunt enemy submarines, and make life dangerous for any ships in an invasion force. While Lockheed Martin was forced to re-open a wing line in Georgia, the main production line isn’t active any more. As a result, all 12 of the mothballed P-3s slated for Taiwan have to come from stored US Navy aircraft at AMARG’s “boneyard” near Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ. The problem is that all 12 airframes were labeled “non-flyable” due to structural fatigue, which made the 2,000 mile trip to the refurbishment facility in Greenville, SC, a bit of a challenge. After considering and rejecting rail transport due to offloading and re-loading risks, the AMARG team decided to use a flatbed truck. That’s an unusual method, but it worked. Their approach has stirred interest from other P-3 operators, and even US federal government agencies… The process was anything but straightforward, and called for considerable customization. The AMARG team had to pull blueprints for the old BL-65 tool from the original production line, modify it, and build a custom cradle for the truck. […]

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