MODERNISATION OF nine former US Navy P-3 Orion anti-submarine warfare aircraft and delivery of them to the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB – Brazilian Air Force) has now been completed. Transfer of the ninth and final example to the FAB was announced by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) on July 28.
All nine P-3AMs have been modernised with new systems and avionics for the FAB. The last aircraft has now been ferried from Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain, to Base Aérea de Salvador, Brazil, where it will be operated by 1° Esquadrao of 7° Grupo de Aviacão (1°/7° GAv) Orungan’.
The nine aircraft were acquired by the FAB from the US Navy in 2006, along with three more that were only dismantled for spares. The operational aircraft were upgraded at the ADS facilities in Seville and Getafe, near Madrid.
Upgrade included ADS’ Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) and a completely new suite of mission sensors, communications systems and cockpit avionics. In addition, the aircraft engines and structures were updated, extending the fleet´s operational life for many years to come and providing Brazil with a modern and highly effective asset suitable for military and civic duties including anti-submarine, maritime patrol, search and rescue, and economic exclusion zone enforcement. Alan Warnes