The first P-3 Orion aircraft to be modified by Airbus Military for the Brazilian Air Force was baptised today by Brazilian Minister of Defence, Celso Amorim, in the presence of the Commander of the Air Force, Juniti Saito, during an official ceremony at the airbase BASV in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
The delivery of the aircraft allows the Brazilian Air Force to start operations with the most modern aircraft of the type in South America.
The aircraft is the first of a fleet of nine which are undergoing a complete systems modernisation programme, including the installation of Airbus Military's Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS).
As well as the FITS, the aircraft will benefit from a powerful new suite of mission sensors, communications systems and upgraded cockpit avionics. The engines are also updated and, depending on the condition of each individual aircraft, the structures are renovated to permit many more years of effective operation.
Two more aircraft will be delivered this year, with the remaining six aircraft to be delivered in 2012.
The Brazilian Air Force will use the aircraft for maritime patrol, anti-submarine missions and a range of civic missions including economic exclusion zone enforcement and search and rescue.
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