Taiwan's long-planned purchase of 12 refurbished Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion anti-submarine warfare aircraft has been notified to US Congress. Deliveries would begin in 2011 under the proposed $1.96 billion deal.

The ex-US Navy P-3s were first offered to Taiwan in 2001, to replace its Grumman S-2T Trackers, but political infighting in Taipei blocked approval of the special budget until the legislative logjam was finally broken in June.

Taiwan has already identified 12 airframes in desert storage, plus three TP-3As for airframe spares, and Lockheed expects to refurbish the Orions at its Greenville, South Carolina site, fitting new wings to restore the full 15,000h fatigue life.

The proposed deal includes Rolls-Royce T56 engines, avionics and sensor upgrades, tactical common datalink and Link 16 terminals, a mobile operations command centre, network integration and training devices.

Source: Flight International