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Pak gets two upgraded P-3C Orion aircraft from US

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The P-3C Orion aircraft. Lockheed Martin Photo

ISLAMABAD (BNS): Pakistan Navy has recently received two upgraded P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft from the US.

Lockheed Martin, which has developed and refurbished the aircraft, had delivered the first P-3C to Pakistan in October, 2009. The second aircraft was delivered on January 7 this year, the company announced on Thursday. It is upgrading a total of seven such aircraft for Pakistan.

The upgraded maritime patrol aircraft are to be supplied to the country as per a 2006 contract with the US Government under its Foreign Military Sales programme.

The aircraft are equipped with enhanced communications, electro-optic and infrared systems, data management, controls and displays, mission computers and acoustic processing, Mike Fralen, director for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors' maritime surveillance programmes, said.

The P-3C Orion is designed to operate in anti-ship and anti-submarine surveillance warfare missions. The long-range maritime patrol aircraft with an endurance of about 18 hours can carry Harppon and Maverick missiles, Zuni rockets, and many other sea mines, missiles, and gravity bombs.

The Pak Navy has ordered a total of 10 P-3C Orions from the US. The first upgraded aircraft was delivered to it in 2007.

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