Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $141 million contract to conduct an extensive mission system upgrade to the Portuguese air force’s fleet of five P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.
Previously operated by the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the P-3s are to be modernised with a comprehensive suite of new acoustic, communication, electronic support measure and sensor equipment including an undisclosed electro-optical/infrared payload, with the first aircraft to be returned to service in late 2009. Work on all five Orions will be conducted at Lockheed's Aircraft and Logistics Center at Greenville, South Carolina, the company confirms.
© Portuguese air force
In addition to expanding its P-3 fleet, which also comprises two earlier P-model aircraft (pictured above), Lisbon also last year signed a €270 million ($395 million) contract under which EADS Casa will deliver 12 C-295 transports, including five configured to carry maritime patrol equipment.