MARIETTA, Ga. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine received its 14th and final P-3 Orion outer wing from Lockheed Martin this week, as part of the Service Life Extension Program.
The outer wing, delivered ahead of schedule, is part of the Service Life Extension Program, which is designed to maximize the service life of this maritime patrol aircraft. The wing replacement approach will add 15,000 hours to the service life of each aircraft; and will enhance flight safety, reduce maintenance costs, and improve P-3 reliability, availability, and maintainability.
“Our partnership with Lockheed Martin represents our commitment to meet operational needs, while ensuring the safety of flight,” said Trevor Blow, director of the P-3 Program Management Office. “This event serves as a major milestone for OAM and we look forward to completing the second phase of the Service Life Extension Program.”
OAM P-3s operate throughout North and South America. The P-3’s distinctive detection capabilities allow highly-trained crews to identify emerging threats well beyond the land borders of the U.S. By providing surveillance of known air, land, and maritime smuggling routes in an area that is twice the size of the continental U.S., the P-3s detect, monitor and disrupt smuggling activities before they reach shore.
In fiscal year 2013, CBP's P-3 operating out of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida, flew more than 6,000 hours in support of counternarcotic missions and detected 146 suspected smuggling vessels and aircraft. This resulted in the seizure or disruption of 119,195 pounds of cocaine worth nearly $9 billion. Overall, the P-3 program contributed to the seizure or disruption of nearly $1.5 million worth of drugs for every flight hour in fiscal year 2013.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.