WASHINGTON, March 5 (Sputnik) — Wing replacement production for the anti-submarine and marine reconnaissance P-3 Orion aircraft has restarted after a seven month hiatus with new orders for upgrades from Canada and Chile, US defense contractor Lockheed Martin announced on Thursday.
"The P-3 Orion is the gold standard in maritime reconnaissance," said P-3 program manager Mark Jarvis in a statement. "We are excited to keep this venerable workhorse flying for many years to come."
The P-3 Orion upgrade program will replace the wings and stabilizers of the aging Orion aircraft, which will reduces maintenance costs, Lockheed Martin said.
The US Navy, US Customs and Border Protection Agency as well as Norway participate in the upgrade program.
The P-3 Orion has been in service for more than 50 years and is operated by 17 countries, according to Lockheed Martin. The aircraft is used as a submarine hunter and reconnaissance plane, as well as use in hurricane and other sea-based disasters.
The P-3 Orion Mid-Life Upgrade program is carried out at a facility in the US state of Georgia.