Possible US foreign military sale of support for P-3C Orion anti-submarine aircraft of Argentina

On December 19, 2019, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Argentina of equipment, support and services in support of Argentina’s EDA purchase of four (4) P-3C Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $78.032 million.

Possible US foreign military sale of P 3C Orion anti submarine aircraft for Argentina 925 001 Master Chief Anthony Garcia, assigned to the "Grey Knights" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 46, observes as Sailors check the engine of a P-3C Orion anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The Government of Argentina has requested a possible sale of equipment, support and services in support of Argentina’s EDA purchase of four (4) P-3C aircraft, including four (4) turboprop engines on each airframe and an additional four (4) turboprop engines. The proposed sale will include communications equipment; radar equipment; Infrared /Electro-optic equipment; aircraft depot maintenance; depopulation and repopulation; supply support/spares and repair of repairables; support equipment; publications; training; aviation life support systems; aircraft transportation; logistical and other technical assistance, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated program cost is $78.032 million.

Argentina’s existing P-3B patrol aircraft have reached the end of their operational service life. To maintain maritime security, Argentina acquired four EDA P-3C aircraft to replace its older aircraft. These EDA aircraft need this refurbishment and equipment to be fully operational. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Argentina in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense maritime patrol aircraft capability. Argentina will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.

The prime contractors will be Logistic Services International, Jacksonville, FL; Lockheed Martin Aircraft Center, Greenville, SC; Eagle Systems, Jacksonville, FL; and Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the temporary assignment of approximately 12 U.S. contractor representatives to Argentina to support the program.

The P-3C Orion is an anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft which is equipped with advanced submarine detection sensors such as directional frequency and ranging (DIFAR) sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment. The avionics system is integrated by a general-purpose digital computer that supports all of the tactical displays, monitors and automatically launches ordnance and provides flight information to the pilots. In addition, the system coordinates navigation information and accepts sensor data inputs for tactical display and storage. The P-3C can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons.

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