Pakistan Navy’s P-3C Orion Aircraft (Anti-Submarine Warfare)

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Pakistan Navy’s P-3C Orion Aircraft (Anti-Submarine Warfare)
Pakistan Navy’s P-3C Orion Aircraft (Anti-Submarine Warfare)

P-3C Orions are naval ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) aircraft. The aircraft is powered by 04 x Alison T-56 turbo prop engine by means of which it can attain a maximum speed of 410 knots and service ceiling of 29000 ft. Its 18 hours of long endurance is substantial for maritime missions over range of 4400 km, while the ferry range is 8900 km.

It has a maximum takeoff weight of 64000 KGs comprising of which is 24000 kg useful load and 35000 kg empty weight. It houses an Internal weapon bay of eight hard points under frontal fuselage mainly used for storing sonobuoys and other munitions. External weapons like AGM-84 Harpoon missiles are carried on 10 hard points 3 under each wing and 2 under each wing root. In Pakistan Naval Air Arm its history is quite interesting. Pakistan got first P-3Cs in 1997, out of which one crashed. In 2006, Pakistan Navy ordered 7 more P-3C Orion ASW aircraft two of which got destroyed during a terrorist attack on PNS Mehran. Destroyed A/Cs were later repaired by US and delivered to Pakistan.

It has proved to be a very effective and potent platform. The said system has been successful in intercepting intruding Indian submarines in Pakistani Waters, twice since 2016 and most notably during Operation Swift Retort.

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