targeting-quality track data via Link 16 for precision
weapon systems. Seven systems were built.
The Navy is developing a successor sensor, the
APS-154 Advanced Aerial Sensor (AAS), for the P-8A.
The AAS also is solid-state, wide-aperture, active electronically scanned array radar housed in a long pod
under the fuselage. The sensor is designed to provide
intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and
targeting at standoff ranges. Flight tests on P-8A test
aircraft began in April 2014.
“LSRS [P3-C] aircraft will continue to fly until
replaced by AAS equipped P-8s,” Rossi said.
The Navy plans to assign its two Reserve P-3C
squadrons, VP- 62 and VP- 69, to operate the LSRS
as the P-3C fleet shrinks, and until the AAS reaches
operational status on the P-8A, Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad,
commander, Patrol Reconnaissance Group, said in
a letter published in the first quarter 2017 issue of
Planeside, the Maritime Patrol Association’s newsletter.
The two Reserve squadrons currently are not scheduled to make a transition to the P-8A. Instead, their
Reserve personnel will “continue to support the active
component as they eventually transition aircrew to
operate the MQ-4C Triton,” Ramsden said.
The Navy’s special projects patrol squadron, VPU- 2,
which also operates several P-3Cs as special projects
aircraft (SPA) from Marine Corps Air Station Kanoehe
Bay, Hawaii, is scheduled for shutdown without direct
“SPA is currently scheduled to disestablish in
2020,” Rossi said.
Some Orions may hang around longer in fleet support roles.
“Currently, there are plans to retain some NP-3Cs
and P-3Cs for test and range support and scientific
development,” Rossi said. NP-3Cs and P-3Cs are flown
by Air Test & Evaluation Squadrons 20 and 30 and by
Scientific Development Squadron One.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Doroshenko, attached to the Golden Swordsmen of Patrol Squadron 47, waits for further instruction before directing a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft to taxi to the runway on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 3. Taking off in the background is a P-8A
Poseidon, which is among the assets that are replacing the Orion and the EP-3E electronic reconnaissance version.
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