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Designation: VP-3A

Lockheed VP-3A

Lockheed VP-3A Orion

A picture of the VP-3A Orion

The P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft was based loosely on the Lockheed L-188 Electra airliner.  Development of the P-3 began in 1958 and the prototype first flew in 1961.  Since then the Orion has served as the primary long-range patrol and anti-submarine aircraft for the U.S. Navy, as well as for nearly 20 other countries.  The U.S. Navy began replacing the Orion with the Boeing P-8 Poseidon in 2012.

The VP-3A designation indicates that the aircraft has been modified for use as a VIP transport.  Modifications require the removal of all anti-submarine and patrol equipment including the removal of the Magnetic Anomaly Detector boom at the tail of the aircraft and includes passenger seating, a galley, restroom, and baggage compartments.

Wingspan 99 ft 8 in.


Length 116 ft 10 in.


Height 33 ft 9 in.


Weight 135,000 lbs (loaded)


Max. Speed 473 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 28,300 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 4,765 miles


Engines Four Allison T-56-A-14 turboprops with 4,600 horsepower each


Crew 12



CINCNAVEUR Executive Transport Detachment Sigonella, Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, 1999

Serial Number

VP-3A “Catbird”

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