GREENVILLE, S.C., July 26 (UPI) -- The eighth of 14 P-3 Orions to undergo upgrade by Lockheed Martin has been delivered to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The mid-life upgrade and phased depot maintenance was completed 78 days ahead of schedule and the aircraft will now join CBP's homeland security and drug interdiction efforts.
"Our Greenville team continues to demonstrate a high level of excellence in the complex work associated with maintenance, repair and overhaul," said Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin vice president for Modification, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, Greenville Site and Field Team Operations. "This is the seventh CBP P-3 the Lockheed Martin team has delivered ahead of or on schedule from its facility in Greenville, S.C., since July 2010 -- a truly remarkable accomplishment for this team and our CBP customer."
The mid-life upgrade involves replacing all fatigue life-limiting structures with enhanced-design components. It also incorporates a new metal alloy that is five times more corrosion resistant than the original material. The solution removes current aircraft flight restrictions on the P-3 and extends the structural service life of the aircraft by more than 20 years.
The Customs and Border Protection P-3 fleet last fiscal year is credited with the seizing or disrupting the trafficking of more than 117,765 pounds of cocaine, Lockheed said.