L-3 upgrades P-3 Orion aircraft for New Zealand

NEW YORK, 24 August 2005. L-3 Communications' Integrated Systems (L-3 IS) subsidiary has delivered an upgraded P-3 Orion aircraft to the New Zealand Ministry of Defense.

NEW YORK, 24 August 2005. L-3 Communications' Integrated Systems (L-3 IS) subsidiary has delivered an upgraded P-3 Orion aircraft to the New Zealand Ministry of Defense.

As part of the New Zealand P-3 Systems Upgrade Project, a contract was awarded to L-3 IS in October 2004 and included upgrades to the P-3 Orion's mission systems and communication and navigation equipment. For the early installation, L-3 IS used L-3 Communications Wescam's MX-20 imaging turret system with both video capabilities and an infrared camera.

The first three of the six aircraft upgrade program have early installation of electro-optics systems, which provide a significant increase in visual and infrared detection capabilities as an interim benefit prior to the full aircraft upgrade. The first of three P-3 Orions with early installation of the electro-optics systems was delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force in mid-August, two months ahead of schedule.

Work continues on the additional aircraft and includes the replacement of the data management, sensor, communications and navigation systems and the provision of associated ground systems. The last aircraft upgrade under the contract is scheduled for completion in 2010.

According to New Zealand Defense Minister Mark Burton, "The Orions are critical for the surveillance of New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone and surrounding waters, the Southern Ocean and the Ross Sea, and to meet our South Pacific obligations. We use our Orions for surface patrol, to look for illegal fishing, for search and rescue operations, and recently they were in the Arabian Sea area in support of the international campaign against terrorism."

L-3 IS is recognized internationally as a system integration organization specializing in the modernization and maintenance of aircraft of all sizes, and the study, design, development, and integration of special mission systems for military and commercial applications. The company has modified more than 15,000 different aircraft of more than 125 types. Headquartered in Greenville, Texas, L-3 IS operates from multiple sites in Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland, Alabama and Australia.

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications is a leading provider of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, secure communications systems, aircraft modernization, training and government services and is a merchant supplier of a broad array of high technology products. Its customers include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, selected U.S. Government intelligence agencies and aerospace prime contractors. For more information, see www.L-3Com.com.

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