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The Spanish Air Force accepts the first P-3 modernised by EADS CASA

Madrid, 09 May 2007

On the 7th of May 2007, the Spanish Air Force accepted the first P-3 aircraft modernised by EADS CASA, in accordance with the contract for the operational updating of the Air Force’s five P-3B aircraft.

The forthcoming entry into operation of this aircraft represents a considerable strengthening of the Air Force’s operational capacity in Maritime Patrol. The modernised P-3 Orion aircraft will make it possible to precisely and efficiently carry out both security and defence missions and support to other institutions, such as the detection and control of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, search and rescue and assistance in emergency situations.

The operating efficacy of the modernised aircraft has been validated through the Operational Evaluation phase that the Air Force has carried out in recent months, and which included participation in two joint NATO aircraft exercises, in which the P-3 aircraft successfully demonstrated their submarine detection, tracking and attack capacity.

The operational updating programme included the integration of the EADS CASA FITS Tactical Mission System, as well as the incorporation of new sensors and subsystems, of which we would particularly highlight: SAR/ISAR Search Radar, Electronic War System (ESM), IFF Interrogator, Acoustic System, Link 11 Datalink, as well as the modernisation of the aircraft’s navigation and communications equipment.

Along with the first P-3 aircraft, the Mission Support Centre (MSC) was also accepted. This is located at the Morón air base (Seville), and will permit both the preparation of missions and the adequate exploitation of tactical information and that from sensors, gathered during the carrying out of surveillance missions.

The FITS System is a modular system developed by EADS CASA that can be installed on different platforms, such as the EADS CASA C-212, CN-235 and C-295 or the P-3 and A319 MPA, for the carrying out of different Maritime Patrol Missions. The system is based on open systems architecture, which makes it very flexible, permitting the integration of a wide range of sensors and surveillance equipment.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, EADS generated revenues of € 39.4 billion and employed a workforce of about 116,000. The Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world's largest helicopter supplier Eurocopter and EADS Astrium, the European leader in space programmes from Ariane to Galileo. EADS is the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium, develops the A400M military transport aircraft, and holds a stake in the joint venture MBDA, the international leader in missile systems.

Media contact:

José María Palomino
Tel.: +34 91 585 77 89

Eduardo Galicia
Tel.: +34 91 585 77

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