50 Years of the P-3 Orion

50 Years of the P-3 Orion
Posted by: “Marco P.J. Borst
Thu Mar 15, 2012

Maritime Patrol Association Heritage Dinner to Celebrate 50 Years of the P-3 Orion
JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Maritime Patrol Association (MPA) will celebrate 50 years of the P-3 Orion at their annual Heritage Dinner on March 28, 2012 onboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

“There are very few airplanes in the world that can tout the distinct honor of being in service for 50 years. This is testament to the ingenuity and innovation of the designers, manufacturers and assemblers who created the P-3 Orion,” said Lockheed Martin Vice President of P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations Ray Burick. “The P-3 is the world standard in maritime patrol and reconnaissance and will continue to serve operators around the globe for many more decades to come.”

The primary aircraft of the US Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF), the P-3 Orion has aided in anti-submarine warfare since the early 1960s when it was introduced to the aviation community by aeronautics corporation Lockheed Martin. The P-3 turboprop was an answer to a late 1950s request by the Chief of Naval Operations for an aircraft with more cabin space, a larger radius and a longer endurance than its predecessor, the P-2 Neptune. In August of 1962, Patrol Squadron (VP) EIGHT took possession of the first P-3, and then in 1969, the final revamp of the Orion, the first “P-3C”, came online.

“From a tactical standpoint, this new ‘Charlie’ was a quantum leap in improved sensors, data processing, tactical displays, weapons delivery, and decision making assistance over any P-3 system flying at that time,” said CAPT Ron W. Martin, USN (Ret.), Patrol Squadron (VP) THIRTY’s first P-3C Project Officer. “We all knew Maritime Patrol was about to become a force to be reckoned with.”

A half century later, the celebration of the P-3C Orion comes at both a historic and pivotal point in the MPRF’s future. In June of this year, Jacksonville-based Patrol Squadron (VP) SIXTEEN will receive the first of a fleet of replacement aircraft for the P-3. The P-8A Poseidon, a multi-mission maritime aircraft developed by Boeing, will be the first jet-powered maritime patrol aircraft commandeered by the US Navy.

The Heritage Dinner will take place during the 2012 MPA Symposium week of March 27-30, 2012, onboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville. In addition to the dinner, symposium attendees can register for a host of events, including the P-8A Poseidon Roll-Out, Integrated Training Center dedication, a Flight Suit Social, golf tournament, 5K, and others. The Heritage Dinner, which will highlight the history and heritage of the last 50 years of the P-3 aircraft, will also serve as a ceremony for three new Hall of Honor inductees from the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community.

Interested parties can receive more information about the 2012 Symposium, as well as register online, by going to: www.maritimepatrolassociation.org/2012symposium

A 501(c)(3) Florida non-profit corporation established in 2011 and headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, the Maritime Patrol Association plans on being a premier professional organization representing the U.S. Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community by promoting the use of the patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in the United States Navy. For more information, contact September Wilkerson, Executive Director, at (904) 563-4036 or info@maritimepatrolassociation.org; or check out the MPA website at www.maritimepatrolassociation.org.

Don’t miss the 2012 MPA Symposium! For all of the details, go to:

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