Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) welcomes upgraded P-3K2 Orion

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Someoneforyou, May 3, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    3 may 2011

    The Royal New Zealand Air Force today accepted the first upgraded P-3K2 Orion from the Ministry of Defence during a short ceremony at Air Force Base Whenuapai.

    Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell said the upgraded aircraft represents a significant advance in technology and will introduce a fundamental change to the capability of No. 5 Squadron as they transition from their traditional role as a Maritime Patrol Force to an Airborne Surveillance and Response Force.

    “The return of the P-3K2 Orion is an important milestone for the RNZAF. The upgraded P-3K2 will transform the fleet, improving the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability in support of government agencies such as Fisheries and Customs, and government directed military operations.

    “The upgrade will enhance the aircraft’s existing capability across its range of missions including; long range maritime surveillance, search and rescue, effective monitoring of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and supporting our South Pacific and Asia Pacific relationships,” said AVM Stockwell.

    The P-3K2 Orion project includes upgrades to the aircraft’s communication, navigation, surveillance and data management systems; a state-of-the-art glass flight deck and mission preparation and analysis systems. Also included in the upgrade are crew training and software testing and integration tools.

    The aircraft will now undergo a period of Operational Testing and Evaluation (OT&E), which will enable the crews to develop the procedures to optimise safe and effective use of the new systems to maximise the capability of the transformed aircraft.


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    Source: RNZAF
     
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  3. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Background

    The Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) six P-3K2 Orion’s are undergoing a series of modifications to update their surveillance, reconnaissance, navigation and communication systems. The upgrade project will also deliver crew trainers and software testing and intergration tools. The upgrade will improve the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability to support Government agencies and directed Government military operations, as well as ensuring navigation and communication systems meet future regulatory requirements.

    The equipment and capabilities delivered will introduce a significant and fundamental change in the operation of the Orion from its traditional maritime operations to include overland operations as well. To this extent the change in the philosophy and operating ethos of the Orion is recognised by transitioning from the Maritime Patrol Force (MPF) to the Airborne Surveillance and Response Force as new and upgraded capabilities are introduced into Service. This change will see a fundamental shift within the Defence Force on how we train our people, manage information flows and distribute information; these changes are already underway in preparation for the delivery of the first upgraded Orion. The upgrade has been complemented by an airframe upgrade (Project KESTREL) which will see the Orion remain in Service until 2025.

    The modifications will greatly improve the P-3K2 capabilities and will include:

    Communication systems
    Navigation systems
    Surveillance systems
    Data Management systems
    Glass flight deck
    Flight Deck trainer
    Crew trainer
    System and Software testing and intergration laboratories.
    Flight planning systems

    L-3 and various subcontractors (based in Greenville, Texas, USA) have completed modifications on the initial Prototype P-3K2, with the remainder of the fleet being upgraded at the Safe Air NZ plant at Woodbourne, Blenheim. The project cost is around $373 million.


    Source: RNZAF
     

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