The Lockheed AP-3C Orion is a variant of the P-3 Orion used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for tasks such as naval fleet support, maritime surveillance, search and survivor supply and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. The 18 AP-3C Orions were upgraded from P-3Cs between 1997 and 2005, with the program taking three years longer than expected due to systems integration problems. All 18 AP-3C Orions are operated by No. 92 Wing which is based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia. Aircraft from the wing have seen service as part of Australian Defence Force operations in Australia, South East Asia and the Middle East.
The AP-3C Orion project began in the early 1990s to upgrade the radar and mission systems on 18 aircraft of Australia's 19 aircraft-strong fleet of P-3C-II Orions. L3 Communications completed the prototype AP-3C at its facility at Greenville, Texas. The other 17 aircraft were upgraded at Avalon Airport in Australia under a sub-contract to Australian companies. Tenix Defence took over the project in mid-2003 and BAE Systems was involved with many of the aircrafts' sub-systems and developing a simulation facility. Work began on the first AP-3C in January 1997 and the original project schedule called for this aircraft to be provided to the RAAF for... Read More