P-3C aircraft first entered active service in 1969. And it has been continuously improved. During its decades of service, the P-3C has continuously improved its combat capability through continuous improvement. At present, it still represents the highest standard of land-based maritime patrol and anti submarine aircraft.


anti submarine warfare is an important topic in modern naval warfare. Up to now, air anti submarine force is still one of the most important anti submarine measures. The P-3 Orion of the United States is a long-range land-based anti submarine patrol aircraft, which is the main force of air anti submarine. Shortly after its inception, the aircraft has become the most widely used maritime patrol (MPA) and anti submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft in western countries. Its main features are long range, long working hours, advanced anti submarine equipment and sharp anti submarine attack. It can be called the most terrible submarine killer. Especially in a small area such as East Asia, it can give full play to its land-based anti submarine characteristics.

a few days ago, two Jian-7 fighters of the people’s Liberation Army intercepted a P-3C anti submarine reconnaissance aircraft of the Japanese self defense force over the East China Sea. The two Jian-7 fighters maintained a distance of about 900 meters from the Japanese P-3C anti submarine reconnaissance aircraft. After nearly 20 minutes of “parallel accompanying flight” around, they turned 290 degrees and returned home. Then the Japanese aircraft also turned 110 degrees to the right and returned to Okinawa No. 5 aviation group base. This is the first time in nearly seven years that Chinese warplanes have monitored Japanese reconnaissance aircraft in a left-right “companion flight” mode. It is reported that not long ago, three similar aircraft of the Japan Air Self Defense Force took turns to track a Chinese detection ship, chased it from the East China Sea to the Yellow Sea, and finally left within 80 nautical miles of China’s territorial sea.

the strategy of island countries pays particular attention to anti submarine warfare.

Japan is an island country with a long and narrow territory and short depth. What it fears most is maritime threats. Therefore, Japan attaches the greatest importance to the construction of maritime forces, especially anti submarine warfare, which is the operational focus of Japan’s “self defense force”.

in March 1999, two suspicious ships appeared in Japan’s territorial waters, but escaped the pursuit of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force; In December 2001, Japan sank a suspicious ship in the exclusive economic zone of China in the East China Sea, which was salvaged and confirmed to be a North Korean detection ship. To this end, the Japanese government earmarked 19.2 billion yen for the purchase of coastal surveillance equipment, portable radar, and the training and deployment of Japan’s first special forces. Among them, 900 million yen is used to enhance the performance of P-3C anti submarine reconnaissance aircraft and improve the ability of troops to intercept suspicious ships. Japan’s defense agency said it would install a fast imaging system for its 99 P-3C anti submarine aircraft as soon as possible to realize real-time data transmission. One




can control the sea area of Shikoku island. The P-3C anti submarine reconnaissance aircraft known as the “sea ghost” is the most advanced shore based anti submarine aircraft in the world and the main force of the anti submarine patrol aircraft of the Japanese maritime self defense force. The first aircraft was put into service in 1981. The P-3C modified by Japan can not only carry anti submarine torpedoes, but also 4-6 air-to-ship missiles, with a endurance of 16 hours. It is estimated that one P-3C can control the whole sea area near Shikoku Island, Japan. In fact, it has become Japan’s heavy missile attack aircraft, threatening the safety of maritime navigation in the Western Pacific.

P-3 antisubmarine aircraft has been in the forefront for more than 40 years. In February 1959, the U.S. Navy signed a contract with Lockheed to develop and replace the old P2V Neptune aircraft. Lockheed designed the p3v based on its successful l188 Elektra airliner. In the past 30 years, the P-3 has become the only land-based anti submarine warfare aircraft in the Navy. After a design change, it is changed from p3v to P-3. There are three main models: p-3a, p-3b and P-3C. On November 25, 1959, the prototype of p-3a was tested for the first time. P-3a joined the active service in August 1962, with a total of 157. Subsequently, the p-125-3b joined the active service. The P-3C is the last model. It has the same engine as the p-3b, but it is equipped with a new detection system. At present, only the P-3C is still in service. In April 1990, the last Navy P-3 opened the production line of Lockheed factory.

P-3C has been improved five times to maintain the world’s first

P-3C aircraft. It was in active service for the first time in 1969. And it has been continuously improved. In the improvement I plan in 1975, the United States improved the aircraft navigation system, expanded the computer memory, and improved the tactical display equipment. In the improved II Plan in 1976, infrared detection system and sonar reference system were installed, and harpoon missile was installed. The improvement III plan of the P-3C aircraft was to install advanced anti submarine combat equipment in 1984, including IBM’s proteusanuys-1 acoustic processor. The improvement of plan IV in 1990 is mainly to improve the signal processing capability of the aircraft so that it can find quieter and deeper submarines. The updated equipment is the anaps-137v multi mission monitoring radar of RECION company.

in April 1990, the US Navy received the 50th and last P-3C improved type III Orion shore based maritime patrol aircraft. The aircraft introduces the anuys-1 “changeable Poseidon” acoustic processor of IBM and the new anarr-78 sonar buoy signal receiver, which improves its anti submarine warfare ability. Since 1994, the US Navy has extended the service life of about 267 p-3cs in service. In addition, the US Navy has further improved the P-3C since 2002, mainly by introducing the improved extended range echo ranging airborne active receiver ieeradar system, advanced magnetic anomaly detector mad and advanced periscope detection radar. After this improvement, the P-3C will significantly enhance its anti submarine warfare capability in shallow water and coastal waters, and will be in service until at least 2015.

during its decades of service, the P-3C continues to improve its combat capability through continuous improvement. At present, it still represents the highest standard of land-based maritime patrol and anti submarine aircraft.

P-3C main performance parameters

types: four engine turboprop anti submarine and offshore patrol aircraft

main functions: anti submarine operation and anti-ship operation

main contractor: Lockheed Martin aviation systems

country of origin: United States

unit price: US $36 million

crew: 12

service: 1969

engines: 4 Allison t56-a-14 turbine engines, With a single thrust of 4910 horsepower, the aircraft has five fuel tanks, one in the fuselage and the other four in the wing, A total of 34800 litres of fuel can be loaded.

wingspan: 30.37 meters

Captain: 35.61 meters

height: 10.27 meters

weight: no-load 135000 pounds, maximum takeoff weight 142000 pounds

ceiling: 8625.84 meters

Speed: maximum speed 761km N-hour cruise speed 644km N-hour

range: 7700km typical mission 10-12h flight time maximum durability 16h

weapons and equipment: conventional or deep water bombs, rockets, mines, mk-46 torpedoes, agm-84 “harpoon” anti-ship missile, agm-65 calf to ground missile Sonar buoy and other




features: P-3C is a land-based long-range anti submarine patrol aircraft, which is equipped with advanced submarine detection sensors. Avionics system is an integrated general-purpose digital computer, which can provide data to all tactical displays and monitors on the aircraft, automatically launch ammunition and provide flight information to pilots. In addition, the system arranges navigation information, receives sonar data, inputs it into the tactical display screen and saves it. The P-3C can mount equipment in-flight and under wing pylons.

owner countries: at present, there are 15 countries using various types of P-3 series anti submarine aircraft, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, etc. In addition, the United States and Japan have also refitted the P-3 antisubmarine aircraft into electronic intelligence aircraft.


anti submarine

P-3C has a strong ability of acoustic classification and recognition of submarines, and the recognition accuracy of submarines with stored characteristic samples is nearly 100%. The P-3C can carry anti submarine weapons and anti-ship missiles to attack sea and land targets.

anti submarine combat system is the core part of P-3C “Orion”, including anarr-78 (V) sonar buoy receiving system, anarr-72 sonar buoy receiving instrument and magnetic detection buoy, two aqa-7 directional acoustic frequency analyzers and acoustic recording indicators, and an aqh-4 (V) sonar tape recorder. Alq-78 (V) automatically works in the search mode. Its main detection target is the submarine’s radar. However, after detecting the submarine’s radar signal, the system automatically jumps to the azimuth detection mode and records the detected signal.

in addition, the aircraft is also equipped with global positioning system, anaps-137bv5 search radar, anavx-1 photoelectric sensing system, anaas-36a infrared detection system, anuys-1v advanced signal processing system for filtering sonar signals, and cp-2044 computer.


after refitting by the Japanese maritime self defense force, the P-3C has a endurance of 16 hours and flies at a cruising speed of 644 km n hours. In a typical mission, i.e. 12 hours of flight time, the range can reach more than 7700 km.


in addition to anti submarine and anti-ship operations, the P-3C’s advanced detection system and data processing and transmission capability enable it to effectively perform maritime monitoring and patrol. P-3C antisubmarine aircraft can operate alone or support surface fleet operations. During NATO’s blockade of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the P-3C anti submarine aircraft not only provided real-time monitoring data, but also launched 14 “harpoon” missiles, playing the role of a heavy missile attack aircraft, fully demonstrating the multi-purpose combat capability of the P-3C anti submarine aircraft.