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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Maritime Patrol & Recon - P-3s Forever (apparently)


Talk about staying power - who knew the US Navy's venerable P-3s may have to last another 14-15 years? RADM Holmes, that's who, and the story of how he and his minions are trying to keep the MPR force aloft is well told by Sea Power:
Over the last decade, the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance (MPR) forces have flown missions never before envisioned for them, including firing long-range cruise missiles at land targets and spying on insurgents in the mountains of Afghanistan and the cities of Iraq. The demands of the global war on terrorism have stretched the already widely dispersed force further even as its force level declines and it struggles to sustain a shrinking and aging aircraft fleet.
Man, I spent part of a midshipman summer cruise flying with VP-8 on their P-3s a little over 37 years ago. It was interesting and all, but I never thought that aircraft would still be carrying the load all these years later.
(Hat tip: NOSI)

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