BuNo 162776 just returned from a six-month rotational deployment on Oct. 9, 2019, when the “Fighting Marlins” marked the final active duty deployment of the P-3C Orion.
New aircraft for the collection of the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum.
On Oct. 24, 2019, in fact P-3C 162776, former Patrol Squadron (VP) 40 “Fighting Marlins” (‘QE-xxx’) arrived at National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola which already has more than 150 restored US Navy, US Marine Corps, and US Coast Guard aircraft. According to Scramble Magazine, on that day the Orion made its final flight from home base NAS Whidbey Island (WA) to Pensacola. After preparation as a museum peace, the public will be able to enjoy this P-3 for a long time to come!
BuNo 162776 just returned from a six-month rotational deployment on Oct. 9, 2019, when the “Fighting Marlins” marked the final active duty deployment of the P-3C Orion. The unit is currently transitioning to the P-8A Poseidon, wrapping up more than sixty years of the P-3C Orion’s operational history within the US Navy.
With more than 400 aircraft worldwide flown by 21 operators in 17 countries, the P-3 had been (and still is) a relied-upon asset. Time and time again, the P-3 proved that it is remarkably well adapted for maritime patrol and support.
The P-3 performed air, surface and subsurface patrol and reconnaissance tasks over extended periods and far from support facilities. The Orion provided support for Operation Unified Assistance in Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina, Operation Atalanta in the Gulf of Aden, and the BP Horizon oil rig disaster in the U.S.
In operation since the 1960s, it was known as the workhorse of the fleet. The P-3C Orion’s signals intelligence variant, the EP-3E Aries, is still in service and performing missions all over the world.
Photo credit: US Navy PAO NAS Whidbey Island and Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marc Cuenca