Pakistan’s Navy has selected the Brazilian Embraer Lineage 1000 jetliner to replace its P-3C Orion long-range maritime patrol aircraft.
According to Defense News, the Outgoing naval chief Adm. Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi announced that the Navy would replace its P-3C Orion fleet with 10 converted commercial jets, the first of which has been ordered. However, he did not identify the type.
With only a single aircraft ordered thus far, the program is in its early stages. When converted for Pakistani service, the aircraft will be called Sea Sultan.
It is unclear if the aircraft is being acquired directly from the manufacturer or another party. Embraer did not respond to requests for comment.
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The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s.
Over the years, the aircraft has seen numerous design developments, most notably in its electronics packages. Numerous navies and air forces around the world continue to use the P-3 Orion, primarily for maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
A total of 757 P-3s have been built and, in 2012, it joined the handful of military aircraft including the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Lockheed U-2 that the United States military has been using for more than 50 years. The Boeing P-8 Poseidon will eventually replace the U.S. Navy’s remaining P-3C aircraft.
Pakistan’s Navy P-3C Orion long-range maritime patrol aircraft
Pakistan’s Navy acquired the P-3C Orion aircraft in 1996 after a long delay due to the imposition of the Pressler Amendment in 1990. The P-3C Orion gave the Navy strike capability.
Upgraded P-3C MPA and P-3B AEW models (equipped with Hawkeye 2000 AEW system) were ordered in 2006, first upgraded P-3C delivered in early 2007. In June 2010, two more upgraded P-3Cs joined the Pakistan Navy with anti-ship and submarine warfare capabilities. Pakistan’s navy had a total of 9 P-3C Orion aircraft.
One of these planes was lost due to an accident while carrying out routine exercises in local coastal waters on 29 October 1999. Two aircraft were destroyed in an attack by armed militants at the Mehran Naval Airbase.