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Lockheed Martin delivers another upgraded P-3 Orion to CBP

P3 Orion

Bethesda, MD-based Lockheed Martin has delivered a P-3 Orion with new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) modifications to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The company said on March 8 that the aircraft is the seventh CBP P-3 it has delivered ahead of or on schedule from its production facility in Greenville, SC, since July 2010.

According to Lockheed Martin, the P-3 MLU replaces all fatigue life-limiting structure with enhanced-design components and incorporates a new metal alloy \ five times more corrosion resistant than the original material, greatly reducing the cost of ownership for P-3 operators. The MLU solution also removes current aircraft flight restrictions and extends the structural service life of the P-3 up to 15,000 hours, adding more than 20 years of operational use, it said.

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

The upgraded P-3 Orion has been a game-changer for CBP, according to Lockheed Martin. In 2012, CBP P-3s flew more than 6,500 flight hours resulting in the seizure of more than 117,000 pounds of narcotics valued at $8.7 billion, it said.

"This delivery continues to underscore our unique modification, maintenance, repair and overhaul capability to deliver on our commitments," said Ray Burick , Lockheed Martin vice president for Modification, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MMRO) Greenville Site and Field Team Operations.