The P-3 Orion is an American aircraft used for maritime patrol, reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare manufactured by Lockheed.
The P-3 Orion was originally designated as P3V based on the Lockheed L-188 Electra and served as replacement for the postwar era P-2 Neptune. The first production version of the P-3 was designated as P-3V-1 and its maiden flight was on April 15, 1961. Many variants of the P-3 Orion was developed.
The Orion has four turboprops, giving it a speed comparable to fast propeller powered fighters and slow turbofan jets such as the A-10. The P-3 was also designed to compete with the British Nimrod. It has an internal bomb bay under the front fuselage and underwing stations, carrying missiles such as the AGM-84 Harpoon, having a long stinger in the tail which houses the magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) and convex windows for observation.
The primary users and operators of the P-3 Orion are the United States Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force and the Republic of Korea Navy. Civilian agencies also operates a number of P-3s and have been N-registered.
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