P-3K Orion Communications and Navigation Systems Upgrade
The mission systems and the communication and navigation systems on the six P-3K Orion aircraft operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) are being upgraded. The scope of this project includes the replacement of the data management, sensor, communications and navigation systems, and the provision of associated ground systems.
Request for Tender (RFT) issued 24 June 2003. The preferred tenderer was announced on 11 February 2004. The contract was awarded on 5 October 2004. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2013.
The contract was awarded to L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, in the United States, as the prime contractor for the project. The project is currently within the Ministry of Defence (MoD) led Acquisition phase and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) led Introduction into Service phase. Within the Acquisition phase the prototype was provisionally accepted by the Crown in April 2011, production aircraft one was provisionally accepted in March 2012 and the next two production aircraft are currently undergoing upgrade. The Introduction into Service phase continues at RNZAF Base Auckland with ground and aircrew training underway and formal testing of the upgraded aircrafts capabilities and support systems being proven through Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E). NZDF and New Zealand Government agencies that will support, or be supported by, the P-3K2 are also preparing for OT&E to ensure that an ‘all of system’ capability is delivered.
Work on the full modification for the first aircraft commenced in last quarter of 2005, with delivery completed in the first quarter of 2011. The first aircraft was modified at L-3's facility in Greenville, Texas.
Safe Air Ltd, as L-3's subcontractor, is modifying the second to sixth (production) aircraft in Blenheim. The first production aircraft was inducted into Safe Air’s Blenheim facility in June 2009 and was delivered back to the Crown in March 2012. The second production aircraft was inducted for its modification upon the provisional acceptance of the prototype aircraft by the MoD in April 2011. Production aircraft three was inducted into upgrade March 2012.
For more information contact:
Air Force Public Relations
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