Acquisition, operation of P-3s under PAF purview

1:12:00 AM
MANILA, --- While well aware of the excellent capabilities of the Lockheed P-3 "Orion," which the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is planning to retire within a few years time, Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus Millan said that acquiring and operating such aircraft is within the exclusive purview of the Air Force.

In a message to the PNA, the PN chief said that the P-3 is a long range aircraft that requires huge support systems and such capabilities make it ideal for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

"(The P-3 is well suited) for future PAF (long range patrol) requirements," he added.

The JMSDF is operating 70 units of the P-3. It is planning to replace the former its homemade Kawasaki Heavy P-1 patrol aircraft which has twice the range of the "Orion"over the next five years.

The Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s.

Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner.

The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or "Mad Boom," used for the magnetic detection of submarines.

It has a range of 2,380 nautical miles and a maximum speed of 311 knots.

While the Kawasaki P-1 is a Japanese maritime patrol aircraft which intends to replace the P-3.

Japan took delivery of the first two P-1s last March 26, 2013.

It has a range of 4,320 nautical miles and top speed of 450 knots.

"We will just maintain light to medium-lift fixed aircraft to support (the) extended range) of our fleet," he added.

Millan also stressed that the PN and the rest of the Armed Forces is still waiting for guidance from the national leadership on the outcome of their discussions on what help the JMSDF can extend to them.

A Lockheed P-3C-II½ Orion (5037) of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force, 3 Kokutai, at RAAF Pearce –  9 April 2014.

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