As we reported a month ago in Military Zone, the Navy is gearing up for what will be the first patrol and surveillance mission, with a purchase agreement for the P-3C Orion soon to be signed between Argentina and Norway. More precisely, Confirmed that the first pilots from the Naval Airlift Command are in the United States to undergo conversion and training courses on the Charlie version of this weapon system..
As announced at the close of business yesterday, the Ministry of Defense confirmed today, October 17. Will sign procurement contract for P-3C Orion. It will be carried out by the head of the National Defense Ministry, Georg Taiana, and the Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency (NDMA), head of department Magnus Hansvold.
Following yesterday’s announcement: “Last Friday, June 30, the Norwegian Air Force finally retired its P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Until a few days ago, Norway had two P-3C UIP (333SKV, 333SKV) aircraft operating from the Andoa base. The remainder of the Nordic Orions are stored locally or at the US Air Force’s 309th Maintenance and Remanufacturing Group.”.
Regarding the current status of the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s operable P-3C/N Orion fleet, a study by the P-3 Orion Research Group suggested the following:
- BuN 154576 – C/N 4576 – P-3N stored at AMARG from September 2022
- BuN 156603 – C/N 6603 – P-3N scheduled for Gate Guardian at Antoya
- BuN 163296 – C/N 3296 – P-3C stored at UIP Andoya.
- BuN 163297 – C/N 3297 – P-3C UIP 333SKV
- BuN 163298 – C/N 3298 – P-3C UIP stored at AMARG from March 2023
- BuN 163299 – C/N 3299 – P-3C UIP 333SKV
Finally, And as we expected a month ago, the Military Zone reported on the addition of P-3 Orion crews to travel to the United States to begin conversion courses to the Charlie version, preparing the Argentine Navy to receive the aircraft. Through consulting sources, they said pilots from the Naval Aviation Command are already in North America for the said courses and training.
These are expected to take place at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. The choice of this US Navy unit is no coincidence, as to this day it is the home of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet Replacement Force (FRS) VP-30 “Broos Nest”, one of the last continuously operating squadrons. P-3C Orion aircraft.
Its purpose is to provide specific P-3C, P-8A and MQ-4C training to pilots, flight officers and crew. Its flight line consists of P-3C AIP+, BMUP and BMUP+. In this regard, one of the latest developments announced in March this year is the graduation of the latest class of Orion pilots who will be assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1 and Flight Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX). 30
*Photos are used for illustration.
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