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bikerthai
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Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:59 am

It took a while, but the transition to the P-8A is almost complete.

https://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/l ... history-2/

The Navy will keep a few P-3's for special missions.

Some will go to other countries. Argentina received a batch this year. And maybe some strip down version will eventually make their way to Vietnam.

Not sure if they need more P-3 fire fighting tankers. Maintenance would be an issue.

bt
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Spacepope
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:04 pm

The reserves will still fly it for a while, this is the last active duty example.
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bikerthai
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:38 pm

Just curious, how many frames are being flown by the Reserves?

bt
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sovietjet
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:20 pm

Misleading title. As the link says it is the last active duty P-3C, and not the last USN P-3C. Three squadrons stopped flying the P-3 in 2019. VP-46 returned from deployment in early 2019 and began transition to the P-8. VP-40 just returned as well and is retiring the P-3. VPU-2 apparently was also deactivated in 2019. But, the following units still operate the P-3:

VXS-1 - test squadron operating two P-3C
VX-30 - test squadron operating four P-3C and one NP-3D
VP-30 - FRS squadron operating several P-3C
VQ-1 - Operating 2-3 P-3Cs for proficiency flights, alongside 12 EP-3E ARIES aircraft
VP-62 - Reserve squadron operating several P-3C
VP-69 - Reserve squadron operating several P-3C
BUPERS - Two P-3Cs

Adding that all up means about 20 P-3C will remain flying in the USN for now.
 
DALMD80
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:33 pm

That's too bad. I liked the look of the P-3C.
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Dutchy
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:58 pm

When did the USN received their first P-8? Feels like yesterday.
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bikerthai
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:05 pm

sovietjet wrote:
Misleading title. As the link says it is the last active duty P-3C, and not the last USN P-3C. Three squadrons stopped flying the P-3 in 2019. VP-46 returned from deployment in early 2019 and began transition to the P-8. VP-40 just returned as well and is retiring the P-3. VPU-2 apparently was also deactivated in 2019. But, the following units still operate the P-3:

VXS-1 - test squadron operating two P-3C
VX-30 - test squadron operating four P-3C and one NP-3D
VP-30 - FRS squadron operating several P-3C
VQ-1 - Operating 2-3 P-3Cs for proficiency flights, alongside 12 EP-3E ARIES aircraft
VP-62 - Reserve squadron operating several P-3C
VP-69 - Reserve squadron operating several P-3C
BUPERS - Two P-3Cs

Adding that all up means about 20 P-3C will remain flying in the USN for now.


Thanks for the information. Not counting the 12 EP-3E which may still be serving for a while, and the test squadron which would still be needed to support the -3E's, would you say not more than 10 frames in the reserve squadron?

There are rumors that Congress may be interested to fund additional P-8's so they can completely phase out the P-3C from the reserve squadron as well.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:19 pm

Dutchy wrote:
When did the USN received their first P-8? Feels like yesterday.


Looks like the first production frames were delivered March 2012. However 5 flight test frames were "delivered" before that.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
sovietjet
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:42 pm

bikerthai wrote:

Thanks for the information. Not counting the 12 EP-3E which may still be serving for a while, and the test squadron which would still be needed to support the -3E's, would you say not more than 10 frames in the reserve squadron?

There are rumors that Congress may be interested to fund additional P-8's so they can completely phase out the P-3C from the reserve squadron as well.

bt


Yea, I would say no more than 10 in the Reserve.
 
Max Q
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:17 am

Still the perfect aircraft for hurricane penetration however


Rugged build and four engine redundancy is priceless for that unique mission
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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DeltaMD90
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:16 am

More accurate would be to say that the last operational squadron has stopped flying them. Not sure about any special projects, but the only active duty ones deploying are EP-3s

Dutchy wrote:
When did the USN received their first P-8? Feels like yesterday.

It was answered above, but also of note is the first deployment of the P-8 was December 2013 IIRC. Somewhere around that time anyway.

P-3 was a great aircraft but it was just so old. Often had a lot of breakdowns... the P-8 has been doing a great job thus far. Let's hope the P-8s last nearly as long
 
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ssteve
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:34 pm

Max Q wrote:
Still the perfect aircraft for hurricane penetration however


Looks like NOAA has two, and their website says they were acquired new in the mid-70s. Same engine as older model C-130s. Probably not going anywhere.

NASA appears to operate one 1966 build.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:28 am

Max Q wrote:
Still the perfect aircraft for hurricane penetration however


Rugged build and four engine redundancy is priceless for that unique mission

As long as you have flight hours remaining on the airframe; the critical component is the outer wing panels, along with the horizontal stabilizer and engine nacelle components. A number of P-3 Orion users have elected to purchase new production wings, horizontal stabilizers, and engine nacelle mounts as part of a life extension program; this adds about 15,000 hours to the life of the airframe once done.

The USN from my understanding, has not opted for this amount of structural work for their fleet, opting to purchase only a handful of new wing sets to form a new wing pool and limited repair work; as old wing sets get inspected and replaced, the old wings are extensively refurbished. This is significantly cheaper than a full-on wing replacement, but provides less additional life.
 
Max Q
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:10 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Still the perfect aircraft for hurricane penetration however


Rugged build and four engine redundancy is priceless for that unique mission

As long as you have flight hours remaining on the airframe; the critical component is the outer wing panels, along with the horizontal stabilizer and engine nacelle components. A number of P-3 Orion users have elected to purchase new production wings, horizontal stabilizers, and engine nacelle mounts as part of a life extension program; this adds about 15,000 hours to the life of the airframe once done.

The USN from my understanding, has not opted for this amount of structural work for their fleet, opting to purchase only a handful of new wing sets to form a new wing pool and limited repair work; as old wing sets get inspected and replaced, the old wings are extensively refurbished. This is significantly cheaper than a full-on wing replacement, but provides less additional life.



Interesting, I wonder if the NOAA aircraft have had this work done
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Last P-3C for the USN is now retired.

Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:59 am

Max Q wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Still the perfect aircraft for hurricane penetration however


Rugged build and four engine redundancy is priceless for that unique mission

As long as you have flight hours remaining on the airframe; the critical component is the outer wing panels, along with the horizontal stabilizer and engine nacelle components. A number of P-3 Orion users have elected to purchase new production wings, horizontal stabilizers, and engine nacelle mounts as part of a life extension program; this adds about 15,000 hours to the life of the airframe once done.

The USN from my understanding, has not opted for this amount of structural work for their fleet, opting to purchase only a handful of new wing sets to form a new wing pool and limited repair work; as old wing sets get inspected and replaced, the old wings are extensively refurbished. This is significantly cheaper than a full-on wing replacement, but provides less additional life.



Interesting, I wonder if the NOAA aircraft have had this work done

Considering the US had only purchased 12 wing sets (and they all went to the USN to create the refurbished wing set pool), no. The US CBP had this work done to their P-3 Orions as part of a major upgrade though, but that was a extremely costly program for just 16 birds.

And the structural upgrade work isn't cheap; roughly $16 million dollars each aircraft for just the ASLEP kits. Associated upgrades and repairs, such as fixing extensive corrosion issues, is also very costly work as well.

The airframe is getting fairly beat up in terms of age, and the aircraft was designed and built in a time where we didn't understand corrosion and fatigue life as well as we do now. For example, the new production wing sets utilize a different aluminum alloy and coatings which are far more corrosion resistant than the remaining airframe.

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