Captain Mike Moran from the U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft stressed that every dollar spent must improve ability to get P-3s into service. The U.S. Navy is looking to share investments across the force.
MPRA has two Integrated Project Teams for P-3: Airframe Sustainment and Mission Systems Sustainment. These IPTs work with the greater MPRA, including the P-8 team, to identify opportunities to benefit from shared investments.
Captain Moran said the team has had tremendous success with investments in acoustics that will be fielded on both the P-3 and P-8 platforms.
The future of the Navy's EP-3 is still unknown, but the Navy plans to sustain the EP-3 until a replacement is fielded (which could be 2020 or later). Captain Moran said the Navy will likely maintain 40 or so P-3 aircraft in the future, in addition to P-8 and unmanned systems.
Captain Moran reiterated Captain Rondeau's message: the Navy has much better P-3 availability compared to last year's IOSC. There are now about 80 airplanes on the ramp, up from 50 last year, and aircraft spend 92% less time awaiting depot.
Captain Moran said the U.S. Navy's fleet priorities are focused on regaining expertise in anti-submarine warfare and increasing readiness. More specifically, Captain Moran's priorities are to reduce turnaround time with depots, support missions and execute the program.
The U.S. Navy is currently investing in P-8 development, and some projects are done jointly with the P-3 program to keep the P-3 relevant and moving forward. In general, the Navy is moving toward interoperability with U.S. and joint forces.
Captain Moran said U.S. Navy P-3 program is dedicated to supporting international operators, as interoperability is key.