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First P-3 MLU delivered

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 15, 2010
The first US Customs re-winged P-3B (temporarily minus its AEW radome). (Lockheed Martin)

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service has taken delivery of the first P-3 Orion to be substantially upgraded under Lockheed Martin’s Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) program.

The aircraft, a former US Navy P-3B fitted with a rotating AEW radar on the upper fuselage, had its outer wings, centre wing lower surface, and horizontal stabilisers replaced by new components made from newer and stronger metal alloys. The upgrade removes all flight restrictions previously placed on the fleet and is expected to add 15,000 hours and 20 years to the aircraft’s fatigue life.

The CBP has ordered 14 MLU upgrades, while a total of 52 kits are under order by six operators in four countries.

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