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Greece begins modernisation of P-3B Orion aircraft

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The P-3B orion aircraft.

ATHENS (BNS): Modernisation of the Greek military's P-3B Orion maritime patrol aircraft has started with the Hellenic Navy, Lockheed Martin and Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) hosting a ceremony at HAI's Athens facilities on July 25.

The mid-life upgrade of four P-3B Orion aircraft will be carried out under a $141.9 million contract awarded by the US Navy to Lockheed Martin in February 2016.

The contract provides for the reactivation of one Hellenic Navy P-3B aircraft and procurement of software and hardware kits for the upgrade/modernization for a total of four Hellenic Navy P-3B aircraft.

In addition, it provides for phased depot maintenance; a Greece indigenous mission integration and management system; new avionics; and other ancillary hardware and services, Lockheed said.

The upgrade will provide an extension of service life of each aircraft by 15,000 flight hours.

The P-3 Orion is the standard for maritime patrol and reconnaissance, and is used for homeland security, anti-piracy operations, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, intelligence gathering, anti-submarine warfare and, recently, to assist in air traffic control and natural disaster relief support.

In addition to the HAI facilities near Athens, in Schimatari, Greece, work on the P-3Bs will be performed in Marietta, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States.

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