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Pakistan navy planes to get more teeth

Press Trust of India

Posted: Feb 14, 2007 at 0939 hrs IST

The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a USD 187 million sales contract to continue providing mission system upgrades for seven P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft to Pakistan.

Lockheed Martin has already supplied one up-graded P-3C surveillance aircraft to the Pakistani Navy last month with a second one expected to be handed over in March. The upgrades programme of the P-3Cs began in March 2006.

"This programme represents an important expansion of the US Navy, Pakistan Navy and Lockheed Martin P-3 relationship," US Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft director for International Programmes said Tom Pillion.

"It provides a world-class maritime surveillance capability to the Pakistan Navy, and will be an important

contributor to allied operations" he added in a press release.

According to the company the modified P-3Cs will further enhance the Pakistan Navy's capabilities to conduct maritime surveillance in littoral and deep-water environments, supporting anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare operations.

"Lockheed Martin is pleased to have delivered the first aircraft to the Pakistan Navy and we continue our work on mission system upgrades to the remaining aircraft for Pakistan," said Richard Udicious, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Eagan-based Tactical Systems business.

"With 91 per cent of all active-duty P-3's now carrying Lockheed Martin's integrated mission system, we know these aircraft will provide Pakistan's Navy with world-class performance. The enhanced capabilities of these P-3's will allow Pakistan to further expand its role in both humanitarian and military operations," Udicious added.

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