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Lockheed Martin recently received a $158.5 million contract for the second phase of the German Navy P-3C Mission System Refresh programme, which will upgrade the mission system processing suites on the fleet of eight P-3C ORION maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to support operations through 2035.
The Mission System Refresh is part of an overall fleet upgrade that includes structural mid-life upgrades as well as an upgrade to the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) cockpit capability.

The Germany P-3C ORION Mission System Refresh programme will include the design, development, manufacture, integration, installation and test of the Lockheed Martin Airborne Tactical Mission System. The majority of the hardware and software design, manufacture and upgrades will be performed at Lockheed Martin sites in Owego, New York, Manassas, Virginia and Marietta, Georgia, all in the US.

"The P-3 ORION has been the world standard in maritime surveillance for over 50 years. Lockheed Martin is dedicated to providing solutions and critical needs that our US Navy and international customers rely on to carry out these critical missions," Mike McGuire, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems Germany P-3 Program Manager, said. "The Mission System Refresh provides critical surveillance capabilities, reduces hardware footprint and supports continued future system sustainment."

The Airborne Tactical Mission System is an Open Architecture JAVA-based system that provides state-of-the-art software programmes as well as core mission system processing, display and control components.  By leveraging Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components, future obsolescence costs are reduced thereby supporting the long-term system sustainability for the customer.  In addition to the Airborne Tactical Mission System, the Mission System Refresh will include a new acoustic processing system called the Airborne Rack-Mounted Commercial Portable Processor (AR-C2P) that will provide long-term sustainability in the P-3 aircraft.

The Germany P-3 ORION Mission System Refresh programme began in 2016 when the US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin an initial Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract for $54.9 million for design and development work through Preliminary Design. This current contract award of $158.5 million takes the programme from Preliminary Design Review through programme completion in 2022. 

DPM

The eight aircraft operated by the German Navy were procured in early 2006 from the Royal Netherlands Navy. The P-3 boasts a number of international customers; a number of whom envision operating their aircraft though 2040. (Photo: Bundeswehr)

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