Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Operator: Portugal

Major Horacio Santos from the Portuguese Air Force is presenting about the P-3C CUP+ Upgrade.

Portugal is a small country, but has responsibility for a large sea area, so the PtAF has a great need for updated maritime patrol aircraft. The primary mission is maritime patrol, including submarines and surface ships. The secondary mission is search and rescue, but Major Santos suspects that their P-3 mission will be redefined when new capabilities are achieved with new mission systems.

The PtAF was able to work with Lockheed Martin MS2 in the lab during mission system software qualification tests, which Major Santos says was very helpful and suggests to other operators. They will have new hardware, radar, acoustic systems, data link, navigation, electronic warfare and many other new systems. The new systems will give the PtAF improved pictures, often with information or sensor output integrated. The PtAF is looking forward to fielding the upgraded aircraft to see how it operates. They are hoping to operate the P-3 CUP+ for 25 more years.

1st Lt. Filipe M. S. Pedro is now briefing about PtAF P-3 operation and sustainment.

The PtAF currently operates several different P-3 configurations, which fly 300-400 hours per year.

Current sustainment issues include the air multiplier, propellers, landing gear, drag struts and navigation units. He is looking for feedback from other operators regarding whether they have similar issues and how they are addressing them.

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