Patrol Squadron 615 achieved the record having logged a total flight distance of 15.3 million kilometers, equivalent to traveling around the Earth 380 times.
The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) said on Feb. 17, 2022 that Patrol Squadron 615, based on the southern resort island of Jeju, has reached a milestone of mishap-free flights over the past 40 years since its establishment, The Korea Herald reports.
According to RoKN, Patrol Squadron 615 achieved the record, having logged a total flight distance of 15.3 million kilometers, equivalent to traveling around the Earth 380 times.
“(The squadron) reached the milestone of accident-free flights for 40 years on the back of efforts made by all members, including officers, who worked together for safe flights and mission accomplishments,” Adm. Kim Jung-soo, chief of naval operations, said in a statement to Yonhap.
Activated in February 1982, Patrol Squadron 615 flies the venerable P-3 Orion and its mission is to cover the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula and carry out anti-submarine and anti-ship missions.
RoKN has a fleet of 16 P-3 Orions (all operated by Patrol Squadron 615) which the service intends to replace with up to 20 new ASW aircraft: among the planes considered to fulfill the role there are not only the C-295 MPA Persuader and the Boeing P-8 Poseidon.
Designed as a long-range, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, before being replaced by the P-8 the P-3 Orion had been the US Navy frontline, land-based maritime patrol aircraft. The most capable Orion version is the P-3C, first delivered to the US Navy in 1969.
Noteworthy the aircraft mission has evolved in the late 1990s and early 21st century to include surveillance of the battlespace, either at sea or over land. The P-3C can carry a mixed payload of weapons internally and on wing pylons.
Photo credit: Republic Of Korea Navy