Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $260 million contract to modernize and upgrade four P-3B Orion aircraft for the government of Greece, the Department of Defense announced on Monday.
Work on the aircraft -- structural mid-life upgrades, tailored phased depot maintenance, a country-specific designed mission integration and management system and new avionics -- is expected to extend the life of the aircraft by 15,000 flight hours each.
More than 400 P-3B Orions are in service with 17 countries, providing air, surface and subsurface patrol and surveillance.
Among the aircraft's missions are submarine hunting, targeting of strike points, relaying real-time video, scouting ahead to warn of possible dangers, and performing a range of missions against drug smuggling, pirates, illegal immigration and terrorism.
The P-3B upgrade program involves the replacement of wing sections and improves the airframe to allow for the additional flight hours and takes about 11 months to install, according to Lockheed.
Work on the four aircraft for Greece will mostly be conducted in Marietta, Ga., and Schimatari, Greece, with the rest spread among locations in Canada, Greece, Israel and the United States.
Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $59 million has been obligated with the contract award, and work on the contract is expected to be completed by December 2023.