Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ray Burick, 2011 P-3 IOSC Closing Thoughts

PMA-290 State of the Union/Status of the "Mighty Orion"

Martin Ahmad, PMA 290 principal deputy program manager, is up next to discuss the state of PMA-290.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)'s PMA-290 manages the acquisition, development, support and delivery of the Navy's Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Ahmad said it is a very fast-paced time with the PMA-290. The organization and work it is doing is complex. The PMA-290 is located at Patuxent River, Md. It focuses on current airframes, retiring airframes, international communities and new aircraft development.

One of the biggest things affecting the P-3 community today is the transition of the Navy's use of P-3s to the P-8. As Navy transitions between airframes, Ahmad said the P-3 team must focus on retaining its community's intellectual capital and the P-8 team needs to take advantage of lessons learned by the P-3 program.

Ahmad said NAVAIR is moving toward a warfighting vision focused on a smaller, more common, more networked, more effective force. While there is more emphasis on unmanned components, there is still a need to have a manned capability for ISR missions.

From a P-3 program overview, the P-3 fleet priorities include safety/pilot proficiency, ASW and readiness. PMA priorities include depot turnaround time, aircraft reliability and program execution. Moving forward, the top P-3 challenges are P-3 sustainment, avionic mods coordination and transition planning. Ahmad said there are no guarantees the P-8 acquisition will happen with considering budgeting, so it's important to keep the P-3 operational as long as possible.

There's a lot of work left to be done with P-3 aircraft sustainment. "This is what makes it challenging," Ahmad said. He then discussed the P-8 program, its milestones and what capabilities it provides.

The discussion then moved on to the EP-3E program overview. The aircraft's capabilities have proven to be a huge benefit for the entire fleet, Ahmad said. 
MPRA overview followed, which is probably one of the largest programs, size and dollarwise for NAVAIR. Excellent work on Taiwan and Pakistan, but needs to replan Pakistan program due to recent May attacks on Karachi. Other countries have expressed interest in obtaining P-3 contracts similar to the Taiwan/Pakistan P-3s. Australia/P-8 transition continues as well.

Ahmad ended his portion of the presentation with a slide that emphasized the need to have aircraft platform commonality to reduce costs and increase capabilities. One MPRA family in support of the fleet.
In summary, NAVAIR's focus is on these key areas:  
  • P-3: Supporting the fleet with relevant warfighting capability while planning transition
  • P-8: Conducting integrated test, initiating increments, starting fleet transition
  • EP-3: Advancing capability, planning capability recap
  • International: Active support of international partners, developing plans for required support in the future
Ahmad concluded by thanking everyone for their support of their work to support PMA-290.

The presentation was then turned over to Capt. Aaron Rondeau, P-3 Department Head - PMA 290, who spoke on the "Status of the 'Mighty Orion.'"

Rondeau said there's a lot of P-3 work left to complete. Outer wing and center wing installation underway and that will go through FY 2014. Upgrading a majority of AIP fleet to AIP+ - giving P-3 fleet Link 16 capability, which has been in demand. P-3s are also receiving INMARSAT and TacView Software. Some upgrades also include high frequency radio, acoustic receiver tech refresh (ARTR) and acoustic processor tech refresh (APTR).

Since 2005, 118 P-3s have been periodically grounded for fatigue. Rondeau said he likes to remind leadership of this number to keep funding available for the P-3 program.

Rondeau noted the worldwide P-3 community continues to deal with similar programs, including P-3 airframe condition, varying areas of fatigue, supply chain performance and depot performance. Safety also continues to be a focus, including propeller blade fairings, T-56 uncontained turbine failures and BMUP+ wire crimping.

The PMA-290 P-3 team is committed to ensuring mission success throughout transition, Rondeau said. This team is creating a transition guidebook to effectively and efficiently transition from P-3 to P-8.

In conclusion, Rondeau said he is committed to sustaining the P-3 until the P-8 arrives and beyond.

For more information, visit the following websites:

Effective Partnering on CP-140 OEMS Program

Thanks to last night's steak dinner, everyone is ready to roll this morning at the P-3 IOSC's last day.

Michel Lechmann from Nova Scotia-based CarteNav Solutions jump-started the day with his presentation on partnerships that supported the CP-140 Overland Equipment Mission System (OEMS).

The need for an upgraded OEMS on the CP-140 fleet was needed to support the 2010 Vancover Olympics. There was a short project turnaround time and a lot of contractors, including CarteNav. In many instances, this equation wouldn't work. With OEMS, it did.

But how?

Lechmann attributed the success of the project to a number of factors - technical and operational.

From a technical aspect lessons learned included:
- Relying on an overall system approach
- Understanding the value of sensor management
- Deploying a flexible moving map display
- Integrating efficient UI
- Designing an integration Box (ISIS)
- Understanding COTS vs. MOTS or that nothing is ready to buy off the shelf
- Use real-time integration

From an operational aspect, lessons learned included:
- Partnership is key
- Competent technical project manager is essential
- Treat commercial partners as part of the team
- Real time integration is necessary
- Understanding "alpha" hardware vs. COTS (work as a team to fix issues and deploy)
- Select the right prime (L3 in this case)

Advantages of Collaborative Supply Chain Solutions

Colin Clarke from Australian Aerospace, which is a Lockheed Martin authorized Orion service center, spoke about advantages of collaborative supply chain solutions.

His job is to look after people, processes and precedures to make sure they are not impacted by supply chain management and that the aircraft isn't impacted. He manages this through collaboration and communication with customers. He actively participates in the continuous improvement teams with Australian Air Force. Also works with maintainers to educate them on how the supply chain management system works. They adopt and adapt defense and industry best practices to make improvements.

They have achieved imcremental improvements and sucesses and continue to improve.

So, why do you need a supply chain?
Over time and use parts require replacement, and timely return of aircraft to serviceability is critical for customer. Ensuring parts are available to keep the aircraft in serviceable condition is the bottom line of why supply chain is needed.

Australian Aerospace has discovered that a strategic supply chain approach is much more effective than a tactical supply chain approach.

The key to sucess is defense to industry and industry to industry collaboration -- share strategic objectives, understand industry must make a profit, and have mutual trust.

Goal is to reduce cost of ownership to the customer. Australian Aerospace is succeeding because they know what their customer needs are, they share those needs with supply chain network, and focus on continuous improvement.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Devin Brakob, NOAA

Bjourn Malmus, CDR German Navy

Peter Yates, RAAF

Odd Andreassen, Lt. Col. RNoAF

Sessions Over for Today

General sessions are concluded for today. Attendees are getting ready for Canada sponsored dinner tonight.

We'll kick off tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. with a briefing from Canada on their CP-140OEMS program.

P-3 Semi Prepared Runway Operations

Today's presentations closed-out with Maj. Alan Harvey of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Harvey discussed the need to land the P-3 on untraditional runways, like the P-3's "Herculean" sibling.

RCAF CP-140 Aurora crews are increasingly charged to support missions in Canada's north country, which is rough and rugged territory home to few paved runways. The vicinity has gravel runways that have been used by Canada's Hercules fleet, but the gravel runways are still uncharted territory for the Aurora fleet. It's a complicated issue. Can the aircraft handle the ice? Or the loose gravel in the summer, which could be a FOD issue?

The RCAF P-3 team prepared a risk estimate analyzing the probability of Aurora semi-prepared runway operations. Crew training took place in a modern Cat D certified simulator. Prep included lowering tire pressures, maintaining a "normal" configuration that required limited prep, landing on 300 ft. of the runway and analyzing RFI/JBI info from two testing locations with gravel (frozen) in March 2011 (in between blizzards) in Resolute Bay in Northern Canada and Thule Aircraft in Greenland.

The crews learned that the P-3 can land on frozen gravel runways with zero damage to the aircraft quite successfully. The team was ready to execute the same experiment in August and was very confident that the summer results would be as successful as the winter flights. Unfortunately, these tests were not able to take place as scheduled in due to other Aurora taskings. Harvey and his fellow crew members are more than ready to take on the challenge when it appears.

RNZAF P-3 Fleet Status/Partnering With Other Government Agencies

What is one of the only countries that can get away with talking about World Cup rugby during the IOSC? New Zealand, of course.

Flt. Lt. Steve Owen from the Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF) Directorate of Continued Airworthiness Management gave an overview of New Zealand's P-3 fleet. The RNZAF has five P-3Ks and one P-3K2, which is the fleet's recently enhanced P-3. All of the RNZAF P-3s (which have been operation since 1966) will eventually be upgraded to P-3K2s.

The P-3 is vital to the RNZAF because 99 percent of the country's trade is maritime-related. In addition, the RNZAF is often charged with supporting non-military missions that are vital to the country's security and safety. Loosely translated, the Kiwi fleet needs to be flying at optimal levels at all times.The RNZAF is focused on enhancing its fleet's technology (its P-3K2s feature upgraded electronics, including new systems for the cockpit, tac-rail workstations); fleet management; radomes (dealing with moisture issues that have limited solutions and the current one is timely as it requires the radome to come off the aircraft to dry-off); and obsolescence (part maintenance, diminishing supply chain), among other things.

"We have a 'Kiwi-can-do attitude," Owen said, explaining the RNZAF team always finds a way to make its P-3s work.

Warrant Officer Glen Moratti followed Owen to discuss the RNZAF's partnerships with other countries to upgrade its P-3s. In 2001, the future of the RNZAF P-3 fleet was in doubt. In 2004, a team took the "whole government" approach to maintain its P-3 fleet. It compared the military requirements and civilian requirements, to show how much value this aircraft provides to New Zealand's citizens. Turns out, the civilian requirements outweighed the military requirements. Hence, Project Guardian was born.

There are nine governmental agencies that support Project Guardian, which oversees the upgrade of the RNZAF P-3 fleet. New Zealand's sovereignty and security is paramount for all partner agencies. The P-3 helps these organizations enforce laws and protect the country's borders and industries (from illegal fishing to illegal movement of goods).

How do they do it? Surveillance takes up a bulk of the P-3 fleet's responsibilities, but the fleet also protects natural resources, supports anti-maritime pollution activities (oil spills), aids in disaster missions (recent support of 2011 floods in Christ Church) and border protection.

All of these missions offer the RNZAF P-3 team an opportunity to enhance its skills and broaden the visibility of the aircraft. These missions, however, are sometimes a drain on resources -- physical and financial. In the last three months, New Zealand's P-3 supported 15 missions that equaled 65 flight hours. The fleet is only budgeted to support 1,400 flight hours in 2011. There's a real chance the P-3 team may exceed its limit supporting non-military missions this year.

"We're no longer maritime; we're everything," Moratti said, adding that the RNZAF will go back to its customers to seek additional support as the need for the country's P-3s increase.

For more information on the RNZAF P-3 upgrades, please visit:

P-3C Airborne Mission Systems Update

Did you hear the Canada moose call? That means only one thing at the IOSC: time for more presentations!

We're here now with Mike Bell from Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2) team.

MS2 has produced fixed wing mission systems for more than 50 years. Ninety percent of the worldwide P-3 fleet uses MS2's fixed wing mission systems, which has a build similar to the C-130 or HC-144 platforms.

The MS2 Maritime Airborne Surveillance System comes in three variants: fixed mount, roll-on/roll-off pallets and C-4. The system is an evolutionary development of legacy ASW/ASuW/ISR capability. The system has standard acoustics, integrated workstations, a digital storage management system, an IFF interrogator, a full-range of current sensors with HD capabilities, data links, ics upgrade, mission processing, upgraded magnetic anomaly detector (MAD), and ESM -- along with other enhancements.

Integrated a wide-range of sensors to support customer needs. Everything needs to be funneled into an integrated tactical picture. A system, that is similar to a Windows (R) format, chronicles historic data and provides real-time displays that are intuitive and integrated.

MS2 can create systems to support a customer's particular request through a service oriented architecture affordably and easily. Operators can access multiple display options at once, giving them a comprehensive picture of their mission.

In summary, the MS2 Maritime Airborne Surveillance System is an evolutionary process, resulting in system that can benefit all P-3 operators.

To learn more about MS2, visit:


We're running a little bit ahead of schedule, so we're going to break for lunch now. The 2011 P-3 IOSC will continue at 1300 EDT. See you then!

PMA-290 Future Plans For P-3 Support

Tom Pillion, the director of international programs US Navy's Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office (PMA-290) at Naval Air Systems Command, is now speaking. PMA-290 is one of the largest program office in NAVAIR.

He noted that NAVAIR has to keep the P-3 fleet viable throughout the rest of its life, but there are no new-start upgrade programs planned. In FY12, PMA-290 is losing funding for P-3 support.

Program Issues: How best to support international P-3 users during and after the US Navy transition to the P-8 platform as well as long-term international support.

NAVAIR maintains a Transition Management Plan (TMP) for out-of-inventory aircraft systems. This plan begins five years out from the out-of-inventory date and a number of issues are looked at and planned for.

PMA-290 recognized a changing climate with tighter budgets and Congressional oversight and a shrinking workforce and an unpredictable future. The office has developed a proactive plan for going forward, particularly concentrating on international operators.

Pillion then turned the microphone over to Cmdr. Kurt Mueller, who is in charge of the P-3 Union, which is an international group that has come together to solve common P-3 support issues.

One of the issue with the P-3 Union is third-party transfer restrictions (i.e. ITAR rules). This issue is moderated by PMA-290.

The group has its own password-protected website through NAVAIR, complete with several discussion threads for the entire group. The page also features an individual country forum page. Publications are not being distributed through this forum, although that is a possible growth item.

NOAA P-3 Program Update

Cmdr. (sel.) Devin Brakob, the US National Oceanic and Atmosheric Adminstration (NOAA) deputy chief of maintenance and a P-3 navigator, is our next speaker. He opened with news clip of a NOAA mission into a hurricane.

During the last fiscal year, the NOAA P-3 crews had three major projects: studying large winter storms from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; earth gravitation studies from Fairbanks, Alaska; and normal hurricane season (which in 2011 has been 11 tropical storms and four named hurricanes).

During Hurricane Irene in August 2011, the NOAA crews were deployed for five days, flew eight missions, launched 200 dropsondes, and made 26 eyewall pentrations. The proximity to the east coast of the US allowed them to fly a number of important people, which in turn,

NOAA falls under the US Department of Commerce. The P-3s are operated by the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.

NOAA Service Life Assessment Program results indicate that the NOAA will lose a total of two aircraft between 2019 and 2020. NOAA is exploring several options to sustain these aircraft, including rewinging the aircraft. A follow-on platform study to the current P-3s is looking at a C-130, unmanned aerial systems, or satellites.

IMP Update

Carl Kumpic, the director of IMP Aerospace, is up next.

IMP is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The company has one primary facility at Halifax International Airport. IMP is a Lockheed Martin P-3 Authorized Service Center. It has 1,800 employees involved in the Aerospace Division of the company. The company has been named as one of the Top 100 employers in Canada to work for. IMP has 475,000 square feet of workspace in nine hangars.

Hangar 9 is the company's new facility for performing Airframe Service Life Extension Programs (ASLEP) upgrades. It can accomodate a number of P-3s at one time.

The company has provided support and services to the Canadian CP-140 fleet for several decades. One continuing project is changing out Kapton wiring in P-3s. The company has the ability to repair and manufacture major componets such as weapons bay doors. It has a lot of capability for refurbishing P-3 QEC nacelles.

ASLEP programs -- The ASLEP kit includes more than just the outer wings. It also includes horizontal stablizer replacement, nacelle refurbishment, fairings, and leading edges on the wings and stabilizer. IMP is currently has contracts for six Royal Norwegian Air Force P-3s and 10 CP-140 aircraft for Canada.

ASLEP challenges -- set up of the new facility and training of employees; scale of materials removal; and definition of technical approval process. One change to the process that has been implemented is installation of nacelles to the wing before wing installation on the aircraft, which has dramatically improved schedule performance.

For the Canadian CP-140 fleet, those aircraft are undergoing both ASLEP and an avionics upgrade program as well. This is called the Aurora Incremental Modernization Program. The first RCAF aircraft will be redelivered by the end of 2011.

Nowegian P-3 Program/Operations

We're back. Our next speaker is Lt. Col. Odd Andreassen from the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF).

The RoNAF fleet consists of P-3Cs and two P-3Ns. The P-3Cs are UIP models featuring MX-20 EO/IR sensors, and TCDL. The P-3Ns were originally modified P-3Bs. They also feature the MX-20 and TCDL and are going through the Airframe Service Life Extension Program-Norway (ASLEP-N). The P-3Ns have more than 20,000 flight hours.

ASLEP-N includes replacement of the center and outer wings. The wings are built by Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Ga., and are installed on the Norwegian aircraft by IMP Aerospace in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. One aircraft has now been returned to service.

The first aircraft was delivered in July 2011 and is now in operation in the Gulf of Aden. Completion the second aircraft is expected in January 2012.

In September 2011, the RoNAF deployed an aircraft to the Seychelles for anti-piracy efforts. The operation is called Ocean Shield. The P-3 crews are collecting data and transmitting to ships.

Break Time

We're currently on break at the 2011 P-3 IOSC and we'll be back in few minutes.

Dave Campbell, Lockheed Martin P-3 Chief Engineer

We've gone to break at the 2011 IOSC, so this gives us a chance to go back to the presentation by Dave Campbell, the Lockheed Martin P-3 Chief Engineer, earlier this morning.

There are several programs under way at Lockheed Martin, including a new flutter model; winglets; T56-A-14 Series 3.5 engine upgrade; studies with the SeaVue radar for US Customs and Border Protection; service life assessment; and continuing projects with the ASIWG.

Flutter Model: LM is working with the Royal Canadian Air Force to replace the historical half-aircraft model using full finite element models to more accurately model flutter.

Winglets: Installing winglets will result in fuel savings, increasing range, and increased time on station. Wind tunnel testing has shown measurable cruise drag reductions. The testing has also shown a 2-to-3 percent increase in cruise and a 4-to-6 percent in loiter time.

For a typical ASW mission (755 n.m), having the winglets will result in 5 percent increase in fuel savings, 7.5 percent increase in time on station, and a 12 percent in range, increasing effective mission range to 845 n.m.

For a mission with a T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade and external stores, the numbers are even more impressive -- 15 percent increase in fuel savings, a 22.5 percent increase in time on station (or about 1.8 hours) and significantly increased range (from 224 n.m. to 875 n.m).

SeaVue Radar -- computational fluid dynamic modeling on the SeaVue installation has been done and Lockheed Martin is now conducting an operating envelope assessment.

Sevice Life: Lockheed Martin is looking at a 228 aircraft fleet using data from the full-scale fatigue testing program that was completed a couple of years ago.

ASIWG -- Airframe Sustainment International Working Group -- this a data exchange between Lockheed Martin and the US Navy, Canada, Norway, Australia, and Germany. Discussion topics include maintenance inspection, maintenance recommendations, and structural analysis.

Status Of The German P-3C Program

Our next speaker is Cmdr. Bjorn Malmus from the German Navy.

The German Navy has eight P-3C Capabilities Upgrade Program (CUP) aircraft. The GN recently bought an ex-US Navy P-3C Update I aircraft for maintenance, including propulsion, airframe, and avionics. Having this extra aircraft frees up aircraft for operational use. The GN now has a full mission simulator. The GN also beefed up its mission support system to include automated workflow, mass storage software and hardware, ESM ground support, EO/IR support, acoustic ground support, and a flight planning system. Much of this equipment is deployable.

Aircraft fleet: four aircraft are in depot, one aircraft has been cannibalized and down since 2006, one aircraft is in ISIS, and that leaves two aircraft for operations (one at home and one deployed to Djibouti for counter-piracy operations).

Challenges: The GN has excessive SDLM turnaround times with an unexpectedly high number of corrosion findings; long lead times for structural components; low reliability of powerplants; fuel leaks -- but is getting better with a new process (that was discussed earlier in the conference); and Kapton wiring replacement.

Current upgrade programs: TCAS CVR Mode S; HF Link 11 radios (AN/ARC-243 and AN/ACQ-8); EO/IR sensor -- going to MX-20 HD; ESM upgrades; an AIS stand-alone solution; an TCDL stand-alone solution; several avionics system replacements; and digital engine display in the cockpit. All of these upgrades are funded and will be installed in the next two-or-three years.

Future Challenges: Sustainment vs. Rewinging -- A long-term sustainment study is underway to see how the GN can achieve an additional 15,000 flight hours that involves sustainment options or buying new wings. This study is due for completion next year and the German government will make a decision after that.

Continuous Improvement to Enhance P-3 Supportability

Ken Millar, the P-3 Program Director for Australian Aerospace, is our next speaker.

It's important for industry to look at the customer's operational environment. He noted that the RAAF P-3 fleet is really busy, resulting in issues with aircraft availability and the fleet is continuing to age. It is a complex and high-risk maintenance environment for the contractor.

He said that there needs to be an enduring continuous improvement culture. That kind of culture change requires strong management support. Australian Aerospace added consultants for training and mentoring and a full-time continuous improvement facilitator.

He noted the nature of P-3 depot maintenance has a number of inherent error-provoking conditions:
1) Lots of interruped disassembly/reassembly
2) Complex paperwork
3) Difficult publications
4) Problematic spares availability
5) Hangar access and lighting challenges
6) Large teams
7) Increasing non-standard repairs

The company's program human factors program was developed in-house and was delivered to every P-3 program manager. A two-day course was set up and there is now a refresher program every two years. The expected outcomes were an improvement in human factors beliefs and focus on maintenance practices, a greater awareness of the impact of personal decisions, a reduction in maintenance errors, and improved teamwork and efficiency.

Some of the early results include a failure rate improvement of better than 99 percent. The current state of the program: Early successes, increased staff involvement, and good momentum.

In summary, Millar thinks the RAAF P-3 is more supportable now than it was 10 years ago. He said that Australian Aerospace views support of the RAAF P-3 fleet planned withdrawal date of 2019 (and beyond, if necessary) with great optimism.

RAAF Emerging Challenges

Our next speaker at the 2011 P-3 IOSC is Group Capt. Peter Yates from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

For the RAAF, continuous overseas deployment is now "ops normal." RAAF crews have accumulated more than 20,000 flight hours in theater. The average aircraft fleet age is 13,500 AFHRS. Planned retirement date for the RAAF fleet is now 2019.

The Australian Defence Force's Strategic Reform Program moved a considerable amount of funds out of maintenance and into acquisitions. Forced maintenance to better live within its budgets and start doing things differently. This change has effects in acquisition and logistics support.

The focus for RAAF P-3 support is delivery of spares and services, obsolescences management, and capability upgrades -- including acoustics, ESM, crash data recorder, and advanced radar processor (which is now in test).

The RAAF has a number of areas it is looking at a number of maintenance areas, such as safety by inspection, repair asssessment, aging aircraft structure (including understanding and analyzing corrosion), aging wiring, and obsolescence in equipment.  Maintaining airworthiness is the critical item.

Group Captain Yates then discussed managing the fleet, working with various contractors, and the RAAF acting as the prime system integrator. He observed that platform pressures -- current and future --- need to be managed. He said that relationships are key.

After sorting out some issues, he noted that the RAAF's relationship with industry (Australian Aerospace and BAE Systems Australia) is much improved in 2011. This has led to better information exchange, which has led to better decision making.

He concluded with a discussion of the RAAF's sonobuoy stock recovery program. The RAAF is finding a number of issues concerning sonobuoy shelf life, particularly battery life.  The RAAF developed an alkaline battery life refurbishment procedure. This resulted in about 95% recovery of beyond-OEM-life sonobuoys. Most of these refurbished buoys are being used for training as new stock comes in.

Argentine Navy P-3 Update

Sorry for the delay, but we're back. Our first speaker was Dave Campbell, the Lockheed Martin P-3 Chief Engineer and we'll have his highlights up in a little while.

Speaking now is Cmdr. Martin Monsalve from the Argentine Navy who is speaking on P-3B operations in the Argentine Navy.

The Argentine Navy was founded in February 1916. The Argentine Navy got their eight used P-3B aircraft in 1997. The AN base is NAS Almirantezar Trelew.

The AN started P-3 operations with three L-188 Electra -- the "father" of the P-3 -- for personnel transport. In 1983, the P-2 Neptune was removed from service and the AN bought more L-188s and modified them for sea patrol and search and rescue. These L-188s accumulated more than 33,000 flight hours over their careers.

The actual P-3s arrived in 1997 and there were many maintainence similarities between the L-188 and the P-3.

The AN still uses the older APS-80 search radar and it is becoming harder to maintain and to get replacement parts for it.

Future plans include replacing the APS-80, adding an optical/infrared sensor, and increased emphasis on sustainment, particularly fatigue.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bruce Lewis, RCAF

Slim Ketchum, Rolls Royce

Slim Ketchum, exhibitor from Rolls Royce, highlights the improvements of the new wings and the new engines.

Marcia Cooper, Frazier Air

Marcia Cooper, exhibitor from Frazier Aviation, focuses on the future of the P-3 Program.

Heather Deacon, Safe Air

Heather Deacon, exhibitor from Safe Air (New Zealand), talks about the performance of the P-3 in New Zealand.

Glenn Moratti, RNZAF

Glenn Moratti, maritime patrol officer for the Royal New Zealand Air Force, describes his country's need for the P-3's unique mission capabilities.

Photos: Exhibitors

Record numbers of exhibitors are set up at this year’s IOSC.

Monday, October 24, 2011

VIDEO: Royal Canadian Air Force and Lockheed Martin Co-host 2011 P-3 IOSC

Lockheed Martin Vice President of P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations Ray Burick and RCAF Director of Maritime Engineering Bruce Lewis share their thoughts on this year's P-3 IOSC and the importance of partnering for success.

Day 1 Wrap Up

The first general session for the 2011 P-3 International Operators Support Confernence has concluded. Conference attendees are now going into subcommittee meetings for specific P-3 airframe and engine discussions. These meetings get into great technical detail and won't be covered here.

The only remaining activity for the general group is the Exhibitors' Hospitality Social this evening.

We'll be posting some video interviews later this afternoon.

So, from the front row of the P-3 IOSC, that's all for today. Have a great Orion day!

More Photos From The P-3 IOSC

Lt. Cmdr. Akio Takahaski from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force spoke on P-3 decontamination in the wake of the tsunami that hit the eastern coast of Japan earlier this year.

Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations Vice President.

National Air Security Operations

Al Durham from US Customs and Border Protection is our next speaker.

He opened with short video clip showing the CBP P-3s and crews in action. CBP has 16 P-3s, eight aircraft with rotodomes (aka Domes) and eight "slicks." The aircraft are basesd at Jacksonville, Fla., and in Corpus Christi, Texas. Among the highlights of the video include a number of drug smugglers having "a bad day" thanks to the Customs crews. The footage was taken from the P-3's EO/IR sensor system.

150,000 pounds of cocaine were disrupted in 2011, or about $6 million dollars worth a day. CBP crews are now finding drug runners using submersibles and semi-submersibles.

Lockheed Martin P-3 Sustainment

Nick Kljucaric, the Lockheed Martin Senior Manager for P-3 Sustainment is up now.

The LM P-3 sustainment objectives are: (1) Develop effective fleet sustainment and (2) Achieve maximum aircraft readiness.

Sustainment highlights: Distributors and suppliers have worked together to build parts inventories and decrease lead times; manufacture of new engine shrouds and weapon pylon spacer; work on new air duct design and materials; development of a Maintenance Optimization Program; electrical and cooling capacity study; Rolls-Royce T56-A-14 3.5 engine; and wind tunnel studies for winglets have been completed.

Lockheed Martin has a 10-year contract for comprehensive end-to-end contractor sustainment for the US Customs and Border Protection P-3 fleet. Twelve sets of Mid Life Update kits have been ordered.

In summary, Nick noted that Lockheed Martin is committed to sustaining P-3s for as long as you want to fly them.

DMSMS Concerns

Candy Drake from NAVAIR is up now.

She started out by listing some of the current situation with diminishing manufacturing sources. Customers note that DMS alerts are usually short notice and they are working to better communicate when parts are going to start being scarce.

NAVAIR has established a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) DMSMS team for P-3 and is starting work. There are three levels of service for FMS customer DMSMS issues.

Work in the last year has been setting up infrastructure within NAVAIR to work diminishing manufacturing sources issues. The NAVAIR group is using predictive tools to anticipate DMS issues.

A report called a Supportability Analysis is produced and it is a working document that is continuously updated to reflect current obsolescence information. The report also addresses support equipment details and supportability concerns.

P-3 Tank Sealant

We're back!

Lou Brodeur is talking about a new P-3 tank sealant. A German P-3 was the first this new process was used on. Performance Aircraft Service did the work. The new process uses a waterjet to remove multiple layers of old sealant.

It took five days to remove sealant from all five tanks in the wings. After the first removal, Performance Aircraft Service technicians go back in and catch the spots they missed. This process does not leave any moisture under any structure, nor any damage to the part (including not removing the part stamp).

The first P-3 aircraft is expected to be completed by next week -- stripped and resealed. The new seal is a polyurethane material. There are four layers to the seal, including a grout that is essentially a base for the other layers.

He note that the advantages to this process are: (1) Eliminates leaks (2) Corrosion is stopped, particularly under the sealant (3) Reduces man-hours compared to manual stripping (4) No additional damage to structure (5) Saves money now and (6) Reduces cost of future depot maintenance.

The new sealant is self-leveling and allows for easier inspection.

Questions from audience were next. The first concerned weight savings: The answer is that all the sealant from the first German aircraft was captured and weighed and the new sealant resulted in a significant weight savings. On a US Marine Corps C-130 tank reseal, the savings range from 400 to 700 pounds.

The new sealant has the same temperature range as the polysulfide sealant on both the low and high ends.

More P-3 IOSC Photos

 Lt. Col. John MacCaull, Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Weapons System Manager and Conference Co-Host (Photo by David Key)

Kimberly Goff, Senior Program Manager, Lockheed Martin P-3 Greenville (SC) Operations (Photo by David Key)

P-3 IOSC Photos

A shot of attendees at the morning session (Photo by David Key)

Rolls-Royce T56-A-14 3.5 Update Image

Here's a cutaway image of the Rolls-Royce T56-A-14 3.5 Update engine. Rolls-Royce will be conducting a test of this improved engine in 2012. Lockheed Martin and Rolls are teamed in 3.5 Update development.


We're running ahead of schedule at the 2011 P-3 IOSC, so we're going to go ahead and break for lunch. Our next presentation will be at 1300 EDT when we'll learn about German Navy P-3 fuel tank refurbishment.

JMSDF P-3 Program Overview

Cmdr. Shinichi Isogai from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force gave an update on the Japanese P-3 program. He is currently the Japanese technical liason for Naval Aviation programs. He is an experienced test engineer with flight time in more than 22 types.

Current status of Japan's P-3s: The 84 P-3Cs are in three configurations, including UDII, UDIII, and UDIII+. Eleven P-3Cs have been retired. The JMSDF is currently flying five EP-3s. Several P-3s will be retired over the next 20 years.

The P-1, a four-engine jet patrol aircraft is now in development. The P-1 is bigger in all dimensions than the P-3, including a larger wing area.

However, with current budget constraints, P-1 procurement will be curtailed over the next several years and the P-3 fleet will need to be retained and upgraded.

Replacement of the front spar web will extend the life of the Japanese P-3s by several thousand flight hours.

The JMSDF is involved with counter-piracy operations in Somalia and and Gulf of Aden. Two P-3Cs were deployed to Djibouti starting in 2009. Crews are monitoring the area and supplying information to the various military surface ships operating in the area. P-3Cs continue to be deployed and JMSDF is now in its seventh deployment to Djibouti. The JMSDF has built a permanent base there.

He closed with a humor-filled video showing the JMSDF's mini-P-3s (motorcycle-based) conducting "formation maneuvers," "mine deployment," "SAM countermeasures," and "ASW and ASuW attacks" during at an airshow. He received a big round of applause.

JMSDF Activity For Parts Obsolescence Issues

Cmdr. Ryuuichi Okaniwa from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force is up next. He opened with some background facts. JMSDF currently operates 84 P-3Cs. A successor to the P-3 is under development. Under the current Japanese budget situation, funding for P-3 maintenance is decreasing.

Commander Okaniwa went through a list of parts and equipment that are becoming obsolete. He went through some proposed replacements and how the shortages are being addressed. One example he used was the Inertial Navigation Unit.

JMSDF Aircraft Decontamination

Lt. Cmdr. Akio Takahashi from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force is our next presenter. His presentation is on aircraft decontamination.

After the nuclear accident after the earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan earlier this year, the JMSDF P-3s were flown near the crippled nuclear plant. He discussed the areas of the aircraft that had to be inspected for radiation after the missions, which were extensive. After 65 monitoring flights, none of the aircraft exceeded the contamination limit.

After the tsunami, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, and the US -- all P-3 operators -- provided significant support to Japan and Commander Takahashi thanked them all.

Lockheed Martin Greenville P-3 Sustainment

Kimberly Goff, Senior Program Manager at Lockheed Martin Greenville Operations in South Carolina, is our next speaker.

Greenville is a key part of the P-3 program and reports to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Marietta. The Greenville team is dedicated to the sustainment of the P-3. It is a full service major repair and overhaul facility with 282 acres and 16 hangars that can accomodate up to 31 P-3s.

Have performed more than 180 Phased Depot Maintenance cycles.

Long-term sustainment is key to P-3 operations. Many of the P-3 Mid Life Update kits are installed in Greenville using OEM re-mate procedures.

Greenville has delivered three MLU aircraft and currently have six in work.

The Greenville site has extensive back shop operations, including a machine shop, tooling and parts fabrication, wire shop, hydraulics, wheels and tires, etc. Greenville also has an extensive kitting operations where the kit is put together on a white board that is shrink wrapped so all the parts are presented to the mechanic in a logical order.

A key takeaway is the Greenville has on-site capabilities to restore excess defense articles -- like P-3s stored in the desert -- to like-new condition.

CP-140 Update

We missed this one earlier, but Lt. Col. John MacCaull, the Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Weapon System Manager and co-host for the conference gave an update on his Air Force's activities with their CP-140 aircraft.

He opened with the biggest news -- that Canada had returned to its roots with the name change back to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

A recent success was overland targeting for Canadian CF-18 fighters in Libya. CP-140 crews have flown more than 200 missions totalling more than 2000 hours.

Another initiative has been Arctic Semi-Prepared Runway Operations to further extend the reach of the CP-140 fleet. John noted that Canada is as high in area as it is wide and crews began an experiment last March to operate from remote strips at Alert and Resolute Bay in the far north of Canada.

Canada has recently shifted its support concept to more of a contractor-based system. IMP and L-3 are the main equipment and airframe contractors, with Standard Aero handing the engine support.

The RCAF has 18 aircraft and is now starting the Block III upgrade program, which includes data management, communications, and systems upgrades. Over the next two-to-three years, the fleet will neck down to 10 fully upgraded aircraft with one ground trainer.

We're on break now, but will be back in just a few minutes.

T56 Engine Series 3.5 Enhancement Program

Christopher Culp, the Rolls-Royce representative, is our next speaker and he is talking on the T56 engine Series 3.5 Enhancement program.

The program began with the US Navy looking for better fuel efficiency for the T56 engines on their C-130 aircraft.

The 3.5 upgrade doesn't require any aircraft interface change and includes several low risk technology upgrades.

Benefits include specific fuel consuption, improved turbine life, improved hot day takeoff performance, and less impact to the environment. SFC is up to 7.9% improvement. Environmental impact includes a reduction in 313 metric tons of CO2.

Development of the T56 3.5 is well underway. Rolls-Royce is working with the FAA on certifying a commercial derivative. A contract for a single-engine flight test demonstration was just awarded to RR by the US Air Force last Friday. Testing will take place next year, including a 400 hour endurance test.

Christopher noted that the question that he gets asked most often is "What about the smoke?" and the answer is the 3.5 Update, through the addition of parts and new technology, smoke will be significantly reduced.

P-3 MLU Overview

Mark Jarvis, the Lockheed Martin director of P-3 Production and Design gave a status update on the P-3 Mid Life Update program. He noted that some additional center wing planks have been added to the basic MLU kit. These planks will be retrofitted on existing kits and standard equipment on future kits. A couple of other parts have also been added to the core kit.

A total of 27 MLU kits have been delivered to far, with kits delivered to all five customers -- US Customs and Border Protection, Norway, the US Navy, Canada, and Taiwan. Mark noted that Customs now has three aircraft back in service. Norway returned its first aircraft back into service just a few months ago. The US Navy has received 10 kits so far.

2011 IOSC Opening Remarks

Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations vice president welcomed the more than 450 attendees to the 24th annual P-3 International Operators Support Conference.

Ray talked briefly about the P-3 ER -- the proposed upgrade to the P-3 with winglets. There will more to come on this program later in the conference.

He also mentioned that Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce had officially announced the T56 3.5 engine development partnership. Rolls-Royce representatives are scheduled to talk more about this powerplant upgrade later on.

The Desert To Delivery video -- taking retired P-3s out of storage and returning them to service with the P-3 Mid Life Upgrade kit -- was premiered. We'll try to have a link to this video up shortly.

Lt. Col. John MacCaul, the Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Weapon System Manager is next up.

Welcome to 2011 P-3 IOSC Conference!

We've created this blog to share content, experiences and photos from the 2011 P-3 International Operators Support Conference.

If you're at the conference, please check the blog for information about conference sessions and activities.If you aren't here in person, follow the blog for summaries of conference sessions.Either way, post your comments and questions and we'll respond as quickly as we can.

Have a great conference!

The P-3 IOSC Team

Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 P-3 IOSC begins Monday, Oct. 24