Mon, Nov 13, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Commissioning scheduled for P-3C Orions

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of National Defense will hold a commissioning ceremony next month for the 12 aircraft acquired from the US to boost the nation’s marine patrol warfare capabilities, the air force said yesterday.

The air force said it has taken full delivery of 12 P-3C Orion aircraft, which are equipped with torpedoes and depth bombs designed to sink fast, deep-diving nuclear submarines and high-performance surface ships.

The 12 US-made P-3Cs will replace a fleet of 11 S-2T aircraft that has been in service for more than 40 years, the air force said.

The 12 aircraft, along with equipment and services, were procured in 2007 for US$1.9 billion, after a six-year delay that stemmed from legislative infighting.

The P-3Cs will play an essential role in defending the nation against China, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.

In view of the rapid pace of China’s naval modernization and expansion, Taiwan’s military has been working to bolster its undersea warfare capabilities and its marine patrol efforts, which utilize surface warships, aircraft, or submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines.

The P-3C Orion is a four-engine turboprop marine patrol aircraft with multi-mission capabilities. It is equipped with advanced submarine detection sensors and an integrated avionics system and carries a mixed payload of weapons internally and on its wings.

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