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