LifelinerOne
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:30 pm

The End Of An Era: Bye Bye Orion

Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:39 pm

As of today, the Royal Dutch Navy Flight dismantled it's 320 and 321 squadrons, operating the P-3 Orion from Naval Base Valkenburg near The Hague.

The P-3's are sold to Germany and Portugal. Some flights will take place this year, mainly to train new crews from both countries.

The sale of the P-3 weren't easy for the Dutch Ministry Of Defense. The minister wanted to get rid of the planes because there weren't any submarines left to hunt. However, the tasks of the P-3's wasn't submarine hunting anymore for years. It was mainly deployed for coast guard duties, but also saw duty for anti-drugs flights in the Caribbean and as a patrol plane in armed conflicts around the world.

The tasks will be taken over by two Fokker 60's, which are currently being modified at Woensdrecht.

13 Orions were operated from 1982, two of them permantly based on Curacao and another on Iceland.

Sad news. I flew the plane once and I really liked them! Nothing more than 4 smoking props!

Cheers!


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Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
 
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keesje
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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: The End Of An Era: Bye Bye Orion

Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:41 pm

The minister wanted to get rid of the planes because there weren't any submarines left to hunt. However, the tasks of the P-3's wasn't submarine hunting anymore for years. It was mainly deployed for coast guard duties, but also saw duty for anti-drugs flights in the Caribbean and as a patrol plane in armed conflicts around the world.


Coast guard duties & anti-drugs flights with an Orion is like doing traffic speed check with a Leopard II.

IMO the MLD spend to much energy keeping the Orions during the last decade.

If they had come up with a plan to sell 8 of the 13 Orions, and have additional efficient flexible 4-5 crew patrol aircraft they probably would have survived.



But as said they proudly stuck to a solution for a thread that no longer existed & now they got wiped out  Sad

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LifelinerOne
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:30 pm

RE: The End Of An Era: Bye Bye Orion

Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:53 pm

Word is that an effective replacement for the temporary Fokker 60's is being sought. Rumours are more Gulfstreams for 334 squadron.

Cheers!
Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes

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