CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6085 times:
Just wanted to let you know that Portugal Air Force received their first P-3C (CUP) last 17th. February. The Orion will have FAP Nr. 14810 and it's ex: Dutch Navy 307. Portugal is looking a very sharp and efficient Air Force lately, take a look:
Fighters: F-16A/B MLU Fighting Falcon
Close support: Alpha Jet
Maritime patrol: P-3C (CUP) Orion
Transport: C-130H Hercules, CASA C212 Aviocar, CASA CN295 ( on order )
VIP Transport: Falcon 50
Calibration: Falcon 20
Trainers: Epsylon, Alpha Jet
Helicopters: EH101 Merlin, Allouette III, NH90 ( on order )
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6036 times:
Portugal is getting 5 of the Dutch Navy P-3C's! Portugal is a P-3 operator since 1986 when they received and reconverted Australian P-3B's into a "portuguese" version called P-3P. And finnally Portugal would never get P-3's from USNavy, they are indeed quite crappy....we preffer to have those from countries that take good care of them, it's a much better investment!
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 5761 times:
Well I hope you have a chance to see them in an airshow. The best place would be in the Portuguese Air Force day that normally helds in one of the air bases we have in Portugal, and of course this year I'm sure the Air Force wants to show the new aditions, the EH101 Merlin and the P-3C CUP!!! I'm also glad that Greece have the P-3...but I think it's a shame that the greek government took so long to FINNALLY order this airplane...Greece should be side by side with Portugal, Spain having this airplane, it's a must for maritime patrol and Greece have such a huge maritime area to take care of!!! And let me tell you that I agree with you that Greece lost a great deal not buying these P-3's. All I can say to you is that was a great deal for Portugal and the plane are in such a great condition.....we wouldn't receive ANY P-3's from USNavy even if they would pay us to have them!!! The other great deal was the one that Spain did when they got the Norway P-3B's...those planes came also in great condition too!!!
Phantomphixer From Greece, joined May 2005, 18 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 5757 times:
Thanks for the reply.
Please forgive my ignorance but who will be doing depot maintenance on the Portuguese P-3s and where?
Our Orions are B models ex-USN. Not in a very good shape. They had to go through a very extensive overhaul. However both our Air Force and our Navy are very pleased with the P-3s. The pilots like it too.
Some people talk about replacing the old Orions with new EMB145 (Maritime version), as we already have two VIP and four AEW Embraers, but they lack the endurance.
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5739 times:
Thanks for yr. comments and yr. questions....they are not ignorante questions AT ALL!!!! Portuguese P-3's maintenance are held at our workshops at Alverca, just a mere 20 minutes out of LIS. Portugal when first opted for the P-3 Orion went to Lockheed and both working together found out 6 pretty good airframes from RAAF, Australia was replacing their P-3B's with brand new P-3C's so Lockheed trade these P-3B's back and sold them to Portugal. Of course some worked had to be donne but the project with Portugal passed also to give the possibility in the future to Portugal to make their own maintenance to their Orions. The Portugal version, the P-3P is like I said based on a basic P-3B airframe but have the systems of the P-3C Upgrade II 1/2, the only very unique feature that Portugal P version have is the installation of the ESM ALR-66 below the aft fuselage in a black radome.
So the first Lockheed P-3 was modified to P version in Burbank/California and the other five were modified in Portugal. After that Portugal already did work on P-3 Orions from Pakistan and from Nederlands ( maybe that's why Portugal got the deal with them....they actually did maintenance work in all of them...).
Here is the first one that arrived from USA, you can see it still have US registration and basic RAAF/USNavy livery and arrived in the summer of 1987.
Now regarding Greece, I understand your point....sometimes USA like to "give" stuff but in the end it's more expensive than expected...and they know exactely the ones they want to give!!! I think Greece should keep the P-3 Orion, it's a long-range "workworse" and can stay in missions for more than 10 hours. The EMB145 could be a kind of short-range maritime reconaissance but it can't never replace a P-3 Orion. Actually Portugal is buying now the CASA CN295 and 3 of them will be used for short range maritime patrol.
Well I hope this helps and maybe any greek responsible will see this post and will bring the greek P-3B Orions to do maintenance in Portugal!!!
Phantomphixer From Greece, joined May 2005, 18 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5723 times:
Portugal has a very interesting aviation tradition. (I've worked with people from OCMA on a couple EMBs). However I seriously doubt you'll be getting our P-3s for maintenance as we've been maintaining them for many years now here in Greece at HAI. And now we are trying to get some of OCMA's customers too
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5697 times:
Hey, that's fare game...competition is always competition, and I also know that HAI is great too! And I must say that Greek Air Force is quite outstanding for me....great airplanes you have, lot's of fighters, nothing to be compared with Portugal! But I truly understand Greece role in that area, and in Portugal this are much different, but I personally think Portugal have a neat, efficient and very smart air force. You probably know well what we have but just a small review:
BA1 Sintra - CASA C-212-100/200/300, Cessna FTB-337 Milirole, CN295 ( from
2007 on )
BA4 Lages (Azores) - SA330 Puma, CASA C-212-100
BA5 Monte Real - Lockheed F-16A/B MLU
BA6 Montijo - Lockheed C-130-20/30 Hercules, Lockheed P-3C CUP/P-3P
Dassault Falcon 20 ( Calibration ), Dassault Falcon 50, EH101,
BA11 Beja - Alpha Jet, Epsylon, Alouette III
Now the last to be replaced will be no doubt the Alouette III and we cannot forget that we will also receive the NH90!
F4N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5689 times:
Quoting CV990 (Reply 4): And finnally Portugal would never get P-3's from USNavy, they are indeed quite crappy....we preffer to have those from countries that take good care of them, it's a much better investment!
Other than your opinion, your reason for this comment is? I suppose it doesn't occur to you that the reason that P3's have lasted so long in USN service is the manner in which they are taken care of...
Quoting CV990 (Reply 9): Now regarding Greece, I understand your point....sometimes USA like to "give" stuff but in the end it's more expensive than expected...and they know exactely the ones they want to give!!!
In general, the receiving or purchasing country identifies the frames it wants from surplus; there is no requirement for anyone to take anything. Sort of like Holland's recent purchase of 2 used C130's; the RNLAF chose the 2 it wanted.
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5667 times:
Well if you think they keep the airplanes good you should then ask Kostas why Greece received some crappy ones...that's what he said!!! Now let me tell you something regarding Portugal, last time Portugal received 2nd. airplanes was when we got the Vought A-7P's and they were ex: USNavy, well I tell you USA policy to "give" things is normally like this, they don't give the better, they give the worst ones and they rebuild them, that's what we got! We received real old A-7A's rebuilted to A-7P standards, and during the years we operated the A-7P lots and lots of problems occured. Portugal in early 80's didn't have too much money to spend, that's why USA "gave" us the A-7, an airplane that simply was not the one that Portugal needed it, but they gave it what can we say!!! But if we look closely the A-7 was one of the airplanes with the shortest career in Portugal Air Force inventory. Thank God that after that Portugal started to buy new airplanes and the problem was solved! The A-7P came in 1980 and left in 2002 but during the 90's the airplane was already struggling....other models that Portugal had stayed much longer in their inventory like:
Fiat G.91 - 1966/1993
C-130 Hercules - 1975/ still going on
SA330 Puma - 1969/still going on
CASA C-212 Aviocar - 1974/Still going on
Cessna FTB337 - 1974/Still going on
Alouette III - 1961/Still going on!!!!
I think the issue here is the philosophy of "giving", why didn't USA offered to Portugal the A-7E? Why didn't USA offered the P-3C to Greece? Maybe because they can "dump" older models to countries that cannot afford to pay more, and with that USA also wins some good contracts to their companies and the old airplanes go and the nightmare passes to the ones that receive those "monsters", that it!
And finnally regarding maritime reconaissance airplanes, Portugal in 1961 got their P2-V5 Neptunes from Holland too, again they didn't want to get them from USNavy....maybe there's a reason to keep shopping outside USA!
F4N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5637 times:
Quoting CV990 (Reply 14): I think the issue here is the philosophy of "giving", why didn't USA offered to Portugal the A-7E? Why didn't USA offered the P-3C to Greece? Maybe because they can "dump" older models to countries that cannot afford to pay more, and with that USA also wins some good contracts to their companies and the old airplanes go and the nightmare passes to the ones that receive those "monsters", that it!
And finnally regarding maritime reconaissance airplanes, Portugal in 1961 got their P2-V5 Neptunes from Holland too, again they didn't want to get them from USNavy....maybe there's a reason to keep shopping outside USA!
Hello again. Some thoughts on your comments vis a vis the P3 and A7P. You seem to have a fixation that these a/c were "given" to Greece and Portugal and that neither country had any say in what they received. Again, these were FMS/MAP transactions in which equipment was selected by the receiving country and the terms were agreed to by the participants. If the equipment was taken on am "as is" basis, then the receiving country chose that as the terms of sale. If Greece wanted P3C's they could have gotten them as a NATO partner. Apparently they chose P3B's and decided to upgrade them to their requirements vis Hellenic Aerospace. Nobody "dumped" anything on them and if they were dissatisfied with the equipment or the terms they could have walked away. They chose not to.
The A7P is a puzzling program in which Portugal started looking for air defence fighters and ended up with a heavily modernized ground-attack a/c. Again, you have to bear in mind that the A7P was a low-time A7A frame with a new wing and A7E avionics. The initial 20 were bought for 5 milion $$ each, I believe that the additional units came at a similar price. Why this solution was chosen by Portugal I don't know, but again, the choice was Portugal's, not the USA's. If Portugal wanted something else, the option to buy was their's; nobody else's. If they were so dissatisfied with the A7P, why did they buy more? If budgetary reasons were the cause, whose problem was that?
Bear in mind that MAP/FMS sales are initiated by the customer nation. The choice of equipment, terms, level of refurbishment, the contractor, ect is handled by the Pentagon with the purchasing agency arranged by the customer nation. This is not some scam arranged by the USA to foist off second rate equipment on unsuspecting nations while taking that buying nation's money. If such was the case, who would buy anything through MAP/FMS? After all, didn't Portugal buy additional F16 ADF versions from the USA for refurbishment?
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5627 times:
Well I have to give you some details that you probably don't know but I'm glad I have that information...it came from the ordinary FAP pilots and people that work in a day-by-day basis with our air force. And to clear you out, unfortunetly it is the politics that make most of decisions not the regular FAP staff that takes care and fly the planes that those politicians order..that's the first point.
Regarding the arrival of the A7P to Portugal, the plane that actually Portugal needed at that time was a fighter, they tried to have the Northrop F-5E Tiger II but there was no money to buy it!!! Portugal was just comming for a revolution in 1974 and Portugal economy was in very bad shape, so the closest that FAP could get was the A7, and even that airplane was in some way "forced to accept" by FAP because in early 80's NATO had the idea that a ground attack airplane was very important for an eventual attack by the Warsaw Pact in Central Europe so.....FAP got it, it was cheap and like the US people say "No bucks....no Buck Rogers!!!" and Portugal " so we didn't had other alternative. Now regarding those A7A's, do you know how many airframe were used to produce the first 25 A7P's???? I don't have the exact number but they were between 60 and 70 airframes....those low-time ones that you've mentioned.....it's more than 2.4/2.8 A7A low-time airframes to produce an A7P...don't you think that's too much???
When you say that the A7P was Portugal choise, well now you know why.....no money....so when you have no money you have to shop cheap. And the second batch it came it was again because Portugal didn't have enough money and if you think closely what could actually Portugal do???? They had already the air force shapped for the A7P, they had pilots certified to fly the A7P, do you think it would be wise to suddenly buy the F-16 or the F-5???? Portugal is not a rich country....it's not like some air forces that can keep fighters for a few years and then they just broke them up and buy new ones....not in Portugal! But in the end the A7P was a "cost spender"...there were times that from maybe 25 active A7P's only 8 or 9 were ready to fly, there were shortage of spares because the circuit of those was slow and the plane was already out of production so FAP had to use some of the other 16/17 A7P active to take spares out of them.....that only happened with the A7P Corsair.
Regarding the F-16's...well you of course know that Portugal bought the inicial batch of 17 F-16A's + 3 F-16B's fresh from the factory and the other 25 came from the Air Force.....and one thing I can tell you...all those 2nd. hand F-16's that Portugal received were completely rebuilt in OGMA workshops in Alverca by Portugal, in the other hand those A7P's came refurbished from USA...of course I'm not telling the the work in USA was not good but one thing I'm sure.......I preffer to have any work donne with portuguese hands...I'm sorry but you must understand I'm portuguese!!!
Finnally one question, when USA sale airplanes to foreign air forces who pick the planes to be ready for those air forces??? It is of course US people right? Don't you think it is smart from USA to reserve the very good ones for themselves and maybe "the just good ones" for the others???? I would do the same if I was USA......you don't give the best, you give the good...that's the same everywhere in the world and USA is not exception. Do you know why Portugal didn't got the Kaman S-2G Seasprite and the UH-1H helicopters???? because both would be refurbished and Portugal didn't want to have nightmares in the future with maintenance!
Just a curiosity, in the 80's Portugal Air Force had two active duties with NATO and their 2 single pilot airplanes, the A7P in a case of war would go to Germany and be in combat there, the Fiat G.91R3/R4 would be in northern Italy to combat there!
F4N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5616 times:
Hello again. Thanks for the detailed and interesting response. I have been interested for many years in NATO airpower, the A7 and FMS/MAP, so the A7H/A7P programs have always intriuged me. I am aware that the A7P was primarily funding driven and that it was not the first choice of the FAP, which wanted to procure the F5E/F. I am also aware that the program proved far more difficult to impliment and integrate, primarily because the frames available, though not heavily utilized(the A7A/B had relatively brief USN service), were not in very good condition from long-term storage. I also know that the TF30 was a problematic powerplant whose lack of reliability predicated the re-engining of later variants with the RR Spey. Nevertheless, it represented a quantum leap in capability when compared to what Portugal had or did have at the time and paved the way for later, more modern acquisitions. Still, a fighter it was not so enter the F16. As an aside, I am currently working on an F16B model which will be part of my NATO collection, having recently bought a set of F16 decals made by a company in Portugal called "Santa Cruz".
Anyways, I did want to answer your question regarding the selection of frames made available through MAP/FMS. In general, once equipment is declared surplus to requiremnts and made available, the inventory is accessable to interested parties for inspection and possible sale/transfer. In the case of the F16, the USAF has no A/B models in service, so all frames were made surplus
and available. The customer actually designates the frames it wants to buy.
The FAP chose Block 15 ADF variants as opposed to standard Block 5/10/15 F16A/B's. In the case of the HAF P3B purchase, there were P3C update II and II.5 frames available. Why Greece chose the P3B(probably cheaper to acquire) I don't know.
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5600 times:
Hi F4N! First of all Happy Easter to you too!!!!
Thanks for your post and after reading it I also agree with regarding the technology that was exposed to Portugal Air Force.
Infact the A7P gave Portugal that "jump" and also a bit of better self-esteem for their pilots...it is worth to mention that before the A7P the last truly fighter Portugal had was the North American F-86F Sabre from 1958...now you can imagine how great it was for those fighter pilots to have an airplane like the Corsair, it had radar, INS, great weapons platform, a big airplane, etc. etc. I'm sure that with the A7P Portugal was much better prepared to receive latter the F-16. Also we can't forget that the A7P had a quite high rate of attriction and this probably because it was a new model with some more complex way of flying of course.
I remember that until the F-16 arrived the A7P also did interception with 2 AIM-9 Sidewinders installed....but has you can imagine use the A7P in that role it's a laugh....but it gave hours and performance to the pilots, and that counts now for the F-16 operationalitty! Now if we compare with the attriction rate on the F-16 it's like day to night.
Anyway we'll keep in touch!
Phantomphixer From Greece, joined May 2005, 18 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5561 times:
F4N & CV990,
I think you are both right.
F4N, there are always strings attached to any defence contract anywhere in the world. Nothing bad or evil there, that's how the game is played. We give you something we want something in return. And no, the best option is not always available mainly because of political reasons with financial reasons a close second.
CV990, the responsibility lies with the buyer. You can't blame the other side for laying down the terms your side has accepted. Not talking only about Portugal, I'm talking about every country. But you can sure blame the wizards we or you have in our respective MoDs.
F4N, yes our guys did go and inspect the airframes available. Not sure if the P-3C was available though. Something about tipping the scale... The Navy and the HAF are both happy with the Orions. I mean they replaced the Albatross in the 90s, so you bet they were happy! And it looks like they will keep the P-3Bs flying in the next millennium or so... And as for the A-7s, the original H models were FMS but we were MAPed with the later delivery of the E & TA-7C airframes. But we are straying off topic here... The realistic options for the HAF now would be either to find some P-3C in good shape (usually the european countries have better reputation in that field mainly because they fly less but since I haven't been in an evaluation committee I can't be dogmatic, can I?) or start looking for a new platform now. I'm personally in favour of the 737 naval version for many reasons.
CV990, our A-7 guys used to go through A-A training all the time. The scenario was airfield protection - point defence. Think the A-7s are no good? Tell that to the Phantom drivers who fell pray to it's turn radius at tree-top level! Then the F-16s came and now the world is full of them
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5552 times:
Hi Kostas, good to see you back!!!
Well your "2 cents" actually are much more valuable....let's say maybe 1000 dracmas????
Regarding the way THE POLITICIANS handled the MoD's, it's well understood that's always something "behind the scenes"....and with the A7 purchase was not different. But I think the A7P was not AT ALL a bad choise, the plane was rugged, it was a beast but by the price we got it???? Well it was OK! But has I said maybe until late 80's and early 90's the way the program was running was fine, but then when the shortage came it was a paine...indeed a big paine for Portugal!!!
Comming back to the P-3C, I agree with you in that point.....the US P-3's fly much more than european ones....but there are no european ones now!?!?! And that's a sign that there's a good market for that airplane, Spain got the norwegian ones, Portugal and Germany got the dutch ones but......Portugal will
dispose the 5 P-3P's when they get the other 3 P-3C CUP's from Holland.....that will take probably 1 or 2 more years so who knows....maybe Greece could get some.....I tell you they look great still!!! By the way is the Greek Air Force doing some joint exercises with other air forces? I would love to see one day one greek P-3 here!!!!
Phantomphixer From Greece, joined May 2005, 18 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 months 4 days ago) and read 5531 times:
Yes the HAF go out and play with other boys and gals very often. I know the Orions take part in local joint NATO exercises but I don't know if they travel around. I know the fighters travel around Europe very often.
Anyway there is not much to be seen. Mat medium grey overall, with grease and hydraulic fluid stains for variety. I much preferred the Dutch old colours.
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5495 times:
Well even "not having much to see".....I think I would fake if I would see a HAL P-3!!!
You know I visited Greece many years ago, 1983 for a tour and I found out that country absolutely marvelous...those beaches are just fantastic....I went all way to Alexandropoulis! I remember also seeing at least one day a low level flying C-47 and I even took the registration!!! I have it somewhere in my log books!!! I was there with some portuguese friends invited by a greek guy that you probably eard about, Costas Macris...does that name "ring the bell" to you??? Probably not...anyway great memories and my middle son is always bugging me to go with him to Greece...I think I might have to go one of this days, eat souvlaki and dring Ouzo 12!!!!