US Navy designation: P-3
CF designations: CP-140 Aurora/CP-140A Arcturus
TYPE: Land-based maritime patrol and ASW aircraft.
PROGRAMME: Lockheed won competition for off-the-shelf ASW aircraft 1958; first flight aerodynamic prototype 19 August 1958; first flight fully equipped YP-3A (YP3V-1) 25 November 1959; details of initial production P-3A and WP-3A in 1978-79 Jane's, details of P-3B and EP-3B in 1983-84 Jane's; South Korean order for eight P-3C Update III in December 1990 extends P-3 production beyond original 642 planned up to September 1991; assembly to be transferred from Burbank to Marietta, starting in 1992; first delivery to South Korea 1995; orders from European countries formerly expecting to order P-7, such as Germany, now probable.
Numbers built: one YP-3; 157 US Navy P-3As, of which 38 modified to UP-3A, seven to EP-3A, six to RP-3A, five to VP-3A (three via WP-3A), 12 to TP-3A, two to EP-3B and 10 to EP-3E; 124 USN P-3Bs, one converted to NP-3B and one under conversion in 1991 to RP-3B; 267 USN P-3Cs, 12 intended for EP-3E-II conversion; one USN RP-3D; two National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration WP-3Ds.
VARIANTS: P-3C: First flight 18 September 1968; in service 1969; introduced A-NEW system based on Univac computer integrating all ASW information for retrieval, display and transmission of tactical data without routine log-keeping; 267th and last US Navy P-3C (163295) delivered to VP-91 at Moffett Field NAS, California, one of two reserve squadrons (with VP-62 at Jacksonville, Florida) operating P-3C; 11 more Reserve squadrons operate P-3B, supporting 25 full-time patrol squadrons equipped with P-3C. (Final Reserve P-3A anti-submarine mission flown March 1990; final regular USN P-3B ASW mission, 11 September 1990.)
P-3C Update I: First 118 Baseline P-3Cs followed from January 1975 by 31 P-3C Update I; new avionics and software included magnetic drum to increase computer memory sevenfold, new versatile computer language. Omega navigation, improved directional acoustic frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) processing sensitivity, AN/ASA-66 tactical displays for two sensor stations, and improved magnetic tape transport.
Update II: Applied to 44 aircraft built from August 1977; added infra-red detection system (IRDS) and sonobuoy reference system (SRS); Harpoon missile system incorporated from August 1977; 24 more USN P-3Cs received interim Update II.5 of 1981 including more reliable navigation and communication systems; 1ACS submarine communications link; MAD compensation group adaptor; standardised wing pylons; and improved fuel tank vents.
Update III: Deliveries started May 1984; applied to last 50 USN P-3Cs; includes new IBM Proteus acoustic processor (doubling sonobuoy handling capacity), new sonobuoy receiver replacing DIFAR, improved APU, and higher capacity environmental control system. Baseline P-3C to III retrofit kit first installed in P-3C of VP-31 in 1987 (new designation IIIR); fitting of 18 more kits started June 1987; eventual total 113 planned.
Update IV: In full-scale development by Boeing Aerospace and Electronics for installation from early 1990s; originally intended for P-7A LRAACA; all P-3C Update II and II.5 to be retrofitted, equipping VP-8, 10, 11, 23, 26 and 44 at Brunswick, Maine, beginning FY 1994; one P-3C used for aerodynamic and functional testing of Eaton AIL Division AN/ALR-77 ESM system with 36 antennae mounted in four groups at wingtips; installation abandoned in favour of General Instrument AN/ALR-66(V)5 in same position; other features include improved processing, Texas Instruments AN/APS-137(V) radar and new family of acoustic sensors to detect quieter submarines.
EP-3C: Elint version of P-3C developed by Kawasaki for JMSDF; first aircraft funded 1987 for delivery March 1991; two more on order.
EP-3E Aries: Ten P-3A and two EP-3Bs converted to EP-3E; radars in large canoe-shaped fairings above and below fuselage and ventral radome forward of wing; avionics believed to include GTE-Sylvania AN/ALR-60 communications intercept and analysis system, Raytheon AN/ALQ-76 noise jamming pod, Loral AN/ALQ-78 automatic ESM system, Magnavox AN/ALQ-108 IFF jammer, Sanders AN/ALR-132 infra-red jammer, ARGO Systems AN/ALR-52 instantaneous frequency measuring equipment, Texas Instruments AN/APS-115 frequency agile search radar, Hughes AN/AAR-37 infra-red detector, Loral AN/ASA-66 tactical display, Cardion AN/ASA-69 scan converter and Honeywell AN/ASQ-114 computer.
EP-3E Aries II: Twelve low-houred P-3Cs replaced EP-3E Aries with USN special reconnaissance squadrons VQ-1 at Agana NAS, Guam, and VQ-2 at Rota, Spain; equipment transferred from original EP-3E; first conversion delivered November 1988; last aircraft due 1991; work by Lockheed Aircraft Service Company's Aeromod Center at Greenville, South Carolina.
P-3F: Six, similar to mid-1970s US Navy Baseline P-3C, delivered to Imperial Iranian Air Force.
CP-140 Aurora: Canadian Forces version (18 built); described in 1981-1982 Jane's.
CP-140A Arcturus: Three P-3s for Canadian Forces completed by September 1991; no ASW equipment; for environmental and fishery patrol replacing CP-121 Trackers; equipment includes Texas Instruments AN/APS-134 radar, Honeywell AN/APN-194 RAWS, Bendix AN/ASW-502 AFCS, Canadian Marconi AN/APN-510 Doppler radar, Litton LN-33 INS and a Leigh AN/ASH-502 flight recorder.
P-3 AEW&C: Airborne Early Warning and Control; first flight of prototype (N91LC) converted from Australian P-3B and fitted with Randtron AN/APA-171 7.32 m (24 ft) diameter rotodome 14 June 1984; testing of installed General Electric AN/APS-138 radar began 1988; military version would have AN/APS-139 radar from Grumman E-2C Hawkeye. Other systems would include C³ system to receive, process and transmit tactical information on HF, UHF, VHF and Satcom channels; AN/ARC-187 satellite communication system; and Collins five-tube colour EFIS-86B flight instruments. General Electric AN/APS-145 radar available from late 1989.
First order from US Customs May 1987 for one plus option for three; first flight US Customs aircraft with AN/APS-125 radar 8 April 1988; aircraft called Blue Eagle delivered to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, 17 June 1988 and used for anti-narcotics patrol over Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico; second P-3 AEW&C called Blue Eagle II fitted with improved AN/APS-138 radar delivered to US Customs June 1989; third on order; all are ex-Australian P-3Bs. Other systems include CDC AN/AYK-14 computer with Honeywell 1601M array processor, dual Sanders Miligraphics touch-sensitive colour display screens for digital target data, Hazeltine AN/TPX-54 IFF, dual AN/ARC-182 VHF/UHF com radios, dual AN/ARC-207 HF and dual Wulfsberg VHF/UHF-FM radios.
P-3H: Proposed P-3C upgrade to replace cancelled P-7A, submitted for FY 1992 budget approval Update IV avionics plus new wings and engines and, possibly, HUDs and flat-panel cockpit displays. Decision awaited at press time.
P-3K: New Zealand P-3s. Planned ASW/avionics upgrade shelved 1990.
P-3N: Two P-3Bs retained by Norway, less some ASW equipment, for EEZ surveillance, SAR and training.
P-3P: Portuguese P-3Bs obtained from Australia; one converted by Lockheed and five converted by Portuguese OGMA); MIL-STD-1553 digital bus and systems similar to Update II; operated in Esquadra 601 at Montijo.
P-3W: Australian P-3Cs; have AQS-901 processing system and Barra sonobuoys in place of Proteus and AN/AQA-7 equipment of USN P-3C.
NP-3: Various aircraft relegated to permanent test status. New-built NP-3E ordered from Kawasaki in FY 1991 Japanese defence budget.
UP-3: Various utility configurations. Japan requires two UP-3Cs from Kawasaki production.
CUSTOMERS: Total 90 P-3s exported from Burbank: to Australia (10 P-3Bs, one transferred from US Navy; 20 P-3C-IIs; five P-3Bs transferred to Portugal, one to New Zealand, three to US Customs for conversion to AEW&C), Canada (18 CP-140 Auroras, three CP-140A Arcturus), Iran (six P-3Es), Japan (three P-3C-IIs from Lockheed; Kawasaki produced 66 P-3C-IIs and has 32 P-3C-IIIs, three EP-3Es and one NP-3E on order; six further P-3Cs and two UP-3Cs will complete requirements; P-3C-II to be updated), Netherlands (13 P-3C-IIs), New Zealand (five P-3Ks), Norway (five P-3Bs, two transferred from US Navy, and four P-3C-IIIs; five P-3Bs transferred to Spain) and Pakistan (three P-3C-II.5s). Marietta production initially for South Korea (eight P-3C Update IIIs; deliveries from 1995). Four USN P-3As transferred to US Customs as UP-3As; others civilianised for various operators, including N406TP with Allison GMA 2100 turboprop and Dowty Aerospace R373 composite propeller in port outer nacelle, 1990. Thailand plans to buy three USN P-3Bs; Greece, six surplus P-3As.
COSTS: $600 million for eight P-3C for South Korea 1990; $840 million (1990) including engines, training and spares.
DESIGN FEATURES: Data below refer to P-3C. Pressurised cabin. Wing section NACA 0014 (modified) at root, NACA 0012 (modified) at tip; dihedral 6°; incidence 3° at root, 0° 30' at tip. Anti-icing by bleed air on wing and electrical heating on tailplane and fin.
FLYING CONTROLS: Hydraulically boosted ailerons, elevators and rudder; fixed tailplane; Lockheed-Fowler trailing-edge flaps.
STRUCTRE: Conventional aluminium alloy with fail-safe box beam wing.
LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable tricycle type, with twin wheels on each unit. All units retract forward, mainwheels into inner engine nacelles. Oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers. Mainwheels have size 40-14 type VII 26-ply tubeless tyres, pressures 7.58-12.41 bars (110-180 lb/sq in) at 36,287 kg (80,000 lb) T-O weight; 12.41 bars (180 lb/sq in) at 57,606 kg (127,000 lb) T-O weight; 13.10 bars (190 lb/sq in) at 61,235 kg (135,000 lb) max normal T-O weight. Nosewheels have size 28-7.7 type VII tubeless tyres, pressure 10.34 bars (150 lb/sq in). Hydraulic brakes. No anti-skid units.
POWER PLANT: Four 3,661 kW (4,910 ehp) Allison T56-A-14 turboprops, each driving a Hamilton Standard 54H60-77 four-blade constant-speed propeller. Fuel in one tank in fuselage and four wing integral tanks, with total usable capacity of 34,826 litres (9,200 US gallons; 7,660 Imp gallons). Four overwing gravity fuelling points and central pressure refuelling point. Oil capacity (min usable) 111 litres (29.4 US gallons; 24.5 Imp gallons) in four tanks. Electrically de-iced propeller spinners.
ACCOMMODATION: Normal 10-man crew: pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer and nav/com operator on flight deck; tactical co-ordinator, two acoustic sensor operators, MAD operator, ordnance man and flight technician; up to 13 additional relief crew or passengers. Flight deck has wide-vision windows, and circular windows for observers are provided fore and aft in the main cabin, each bulged to give 180° view. Main cabin is fitted out as a five-man tactical compartment containing advanced electronic, magnetic and sonic detection equipment, an all-electric galley and large crew rest area.
SYSTEMS: Air-conditioning and pressurisation system supplied by two engine driven compressors. Pressure differential 0.37 bar (5.4 lb/sq in). Hydraulic system, pressure 207 bars (3,000 lb/sq in), for flaps, control surface boosters, landing gear actuation, brakes and bomb bay doors. Three hydraulic pumps, each rated at 30.3 litres (8.0 US gallons; 6.7 Imp gallons)/min at 0-152 bars (0-2,200 lb/sq in), 22.7 litres (6.0 US gallons; 5.0 Imp gallons)/min at 205 bars (2,975 lb/sq in). Class one non-separated air/oil reservoir. Type B pressurised. Electrical system utilises three 60kVA generators for 120/208 V 400Hz AC supply. 24V DC supply. Integral APU with 60kVA generator for ground air-conditioning, electrical supply and engine starting.
AVIONICS: The AN/ASQ-114 general purpose digital computer is the heart of the P-3C system. Together with the AN/AYA-8 data processing equipment and computer controlled display systems, it permits rapid analysis and utilisation of electronic, magnetic and sonic data. Nav/com system comprises two LTN-72 inertial navigation systems; AN/APN-227 Doppler; AN/ARN-81 Loran A and C; AN/ARN-118 Tacan; two VIR-31A VOR/LOC/GS/MB receivers; AN/ARN-83 LF-ADF; AN/ARA-50 UHF direction finder; AN/AJN-15 flight director indicator for tactical directions; HSI for long-range flight directions; glideslope indicator; on-top position indicator; two AN/ARC-161 HF transceivers, two AN/ARC-143 UHF transceivers; ANARC-101 VHF receiver/transmitter; AN/AGC-6 teletype and high-speed printer; HF and UHF secure communication units; AN/ACQ-5 data link communication set and AN/AIC-22 interphone set; AN/APX-72 IFF transponder and AN/APX-76 SIF interrogator. Electronic computer controlled display equipment includes AN/ASA-70 tactical display; AN/ASA-66 pilot's display; AN/ASA-70 radar display and two auxiliary readout (computer stored data) displays. ASW equipment includes two AN/ARR 72 sonar receivers, replaced in Update III by AN/ARR-78; two AN/AQA-7(V)8 DIFAR (directional acoustic frequency analysis and recording) sonobuoy indicator sets, replaced in Update III by AN/UYS-1 Proteus; hyperbolic fix unit, acoustic source signal generator; time code generator and AN/AQH-4(V) sonar tape recorder; AN/ASQ-81 magnetic anomaly detector; AN/ASA-64 submarine anomaly detector; AN/ASA-65 magnetic compensator; AN/ALQ-78 electronic countermeasures set; AN/APS-115 radar set (360° coverage); AN/ASA-69 radar scan converter; undernose AN/AAS-36 IRDS, KA-74 forward computer assisted camera; KB-18A automatic strike assessment camera with horizon-to-horizon coverage; RO-308 bathythermograph recorder. Additional items include AN/APN-194 radar altimeter; two AN/APQ-107 radar altimeter warning systems; A/A24G-9 true airspeed computer and AN/ASW-31 automatic flight control system. P-3Cs delivered from 1975 have the avionics/electronics package updated by addition of an extra 393K memory drum and fourth logic unit, Omega navigation, new magnetic tape transport, and an AN/ASA-66 tactical display for the sonar operators. To accommodate the new systems a new operational software computer programme was written in CMS-2 language. GEC Avionics AQS-901 acoustic signal processing and display system in RAAF P-3Ws, AN/ALR-66(V)5 passive radar detection system (ESM), to be housed in wingtip pods, is under development for Update IV P-3C by General Instrument, and will also provide targeting data for the aircraft's Harpoon missiles. AN/ALR-66(V)3 installed in Japanese and Norwegian P-3C and as retrofit in P-3P and CP-140. Wing span increased by some 0.81 m (2 ft 8 in) to accommodate ESM antennae and receivers. Similar Israeli Elta equipment for Australian retrofit. Loral AN/ALQ-157 IR jammers retrofitted each side of rear fuselage on USN P-3Cs. AN/ALR-66(V)5 replaces Loral AN/ALQ-78A pod on inboard wing pylon. Update IV FSED contract awarded to Boeing Aerospace and Electronics in Spring 1987, for completion in 1992. Subcontractors include Magnavox (acoustic system), Resdel (sonobuoy receiver), General Instrument (ESM), Honeywell (AN/AQH-4[V]2 data recorders) and M/A Com (satellite communications).
EQUIPMENT: Searchlight replaces one wing pylon, starboard. Search stores, such as sonobuoys and sound signals, are launched from inside cabin area in the P-3A/B. In the P-3C sonobuoys are loaded and launched externally and internally. Sonobuoys are ejected from P-3C aircraft with explosive cartridge actuating devices (CAD), eliminating the need for a pneumatic system. Australian P-3Ws use SSQ-801 Barra sonobuoys.
ARMAMENT: Bomb bay, 2.03 m wide, 0.88 m deep and 3.91 m long (80 x 34.5 x 154 in), forward of wing, and 10 underwing pylons. Maximum stores capabilities in weapons bay/underwing are Mk 46 torpedo 8/0; Mk 50 torpedo 6/0; Mk 54 depth bomb 8/10; B57 nuclear depth charge 3/0; Mk 82 560 lb bomb 8/10; Mk 83 980 lb bomb 3/8; Mk 36 destructor 8/10; Mk 40 destructor 3/8; LAU-68A pod (seven 2.75 in rockets), or LAU-69A (nineteen 2.75 in rockets), or LAU-10A/C (four 5 in rockets), or SUU-44A (eight flares) 0/4, Mk 52 mine 3/8, Mk 55 or Mk 56 mine 1/6; Mk 60 torpedo 0/6, VGM-86 Harpoon anti-ship missile 0/8. Two AIM-91 Sidewinder AAMs underwing for self-defence. Max total weapon load includes six 2.000 lb mines under wings and a 3.290 kg (7.252 lb) internal load made up of two Mk 101 depth bombs, four Mk 44 torpedoes, pyrotechnic pistol and 12 signals, 87 sonobuoys, 100 Mk 50 underwater sound signals (P-3A/B), 18 Mk 3A marine markers (P-3A/B), 42 Mk 7 marine markers, two B/T buoys and two Mk 5 parachute flares. Harpoon missiles are standard fit on a proportion of US Navy P-3Cs.