Brazil Introduces First P-3 Upgraded by Airbus Military

 - October 10, 2011, 10:24 AM
Nine former U.S. Navy P-3A Orions are being upgraded for the Brazilian Air Force by Airbus Military. (Photo: Brazilian Air Force)

The Brazilian Air Force formally introduced–at Salvador airbase on September 30–its first P-3AM Orion maritime patrol aircraft modified by Airbus Military. Brazil bought 12 former U.S. Navy P-3A aircraft 10 years ago, but delayed their introduction to service. Airbus Military won a €320 million upgrade contract in 2005, part of a package deal that also included 12 C295 transports. Two more Orions are to be delivered from Airbus Military’s Getafe, Madrid facility this year, and six more next year. Brazil will use the other three P-3As that it acquired for spares.

Airbus Military has performed structural upgrades on these aircraft as required, and installed its fully integrated tactical system (FITS). The company has sold more than 100 FITS installations for maritime patrol, mostly on the C235/295 series, but also on five Spanish Air Force P-3B Orions. The system uses commercial off-the-shelf hardware with software written entirely by Airbus Military. There are six consoles on the P-3.

The company claims a high degree of redundancy between workstations, and the industry’s lowest life-cycle costs. Thales is providing the flight deck displays.