Lockheed Martin’s wing production line for the P-3 Orion Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) program has been restarted in Canada and Chile on March 4.
The MLU replaces the outer wings, center wing, horizontal stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer leading edges, the company announced in its press release on Thursday.
All necessary fatigue life-limiting structures are replaced, leading to significantly reduced maintenance and sustainment costs. New alloys are employed that provide a five-fold increase in corrosion resistance.
The P-3 wing line’s last production was in August 2014. The gap in production extended the opportunities for global operators to assess their fleet needs.
The P-3 Orion plays a vital role in maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, drug interdiction, hurricane hunting, fire-fighting and anti-submarine surveillance. Due to the MLU, it will support operators for 20-25 more years.
"The P-3 Orion is the gold standard in maritime reconnaissance," said Mark Jarvis, P-3 program manager. "We are excited to keep this venerable workhorse flying for many years to come."