Lockheed gets $260m contract to return four Greek submarine-hunting P-3Bs to life

Greece should receive four airworthy submarine-hunting P-3B aircraft by 2023, according to a Pentagon contract announcement.

The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division has awarded aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin a $260 million contract modification for mid-life upgrades and depot maintenance of four Greek P-3B airplanes.

Greece has a total of six aircraft operated jointly by the Hellenic Navy and Air Force, but they have been out of operation since 2015. The country received the used P-3s from the United States between 1996 and 1997.

In February 2016, the US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin Aeronautics a not-to-exceed $141.9 million contract to modernize the P-3B aircraft. Six months later, the Hellenic Navy, Lockheed Martin and Hellenic Aerospace Industry hosted a ceremony to recognize the official launch of the Hellenic Navy P-3B maritime patrol aircraft modernization and upgrade program.

Under the new contract, Lockheed will upgrade four of the six aircraft with new avionics and a country-specific designed mission integration and management system.

“The Hellenic Navy was deprived the services of a maritime patrol aircraft. The launch of the modernization and upgrade works of the P-3B aircraft of the Hellenic Navy covers an operational requirement of vital importance and this is taking place with the largest possible Greek added value,” Vice Admiral George Giakoumakis, chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff commented on the upgrade in 2016.

Once they undergo the refit and upgrades, the P-3Bs will each be fit for another 15,000 flight hours.

Lockheed Martin will perform most of the work at its site in Marietta, Georgia and at the Tanagra Air Force Base in Schimatari, Greece.