Lockheed P-3 Orion

The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engined, turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner;[4] it is easily distinguished from the Electra by its distinctive tail stinger or "MAD" boom, used for the magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) of submarines.

P-3 Orion
A P-3C of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Role Maritime patrol aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed
Lockheed Martin
Kawasaki Heavy Industries
First flight November 1959[1]
Introduction August 1962[1]
Status Active
Primary users United States Navy
Royal New Zealand Air Force
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Produced 1961–1990[2]
Number built Lockheed – 650,
Kawasaki – 107,
Total – 757[3]
Developed from Lockheed L-188 Electra
Variants Lockheed AP-3C Orion
Lockheed CP-140 Aurora
Lockheed EP-3
Lockheed WP-3D Orion
Developed into Lockheed P-7

Over the years, the P-3 has seen numerous design developments, most notably in its electronics packages. Numerous navies and air forces around the world continue to use the type primarily for maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.[1] A total of 757 P-3s have been built. In 2012, it joined the handful of military aircraft including the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Lockheed U-2 that the United States military has been using for more than 50 years. In the twenty-first century, the jet-powered Boeing P-8 Poseidon began to supplement, and will eventually replace, the U.S. Navy's P-3s.


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