AP-3C Orion aircraft to provide surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines

AP-3C Orion aircraft to provide surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines


The Australian Government will be sending two RAAF AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft to support the Armed Forced of the Phillipines in the fight against terror.

“The regional threat from terrorism, in particular from Daesh and foreign fighters, is a direct threat to Australia and our interests. Australia will continue to work with our partners in South East Asia to counter it,” said Defence Minister Marise Payne.

The AP-3C Orion aircraft being deployed are an extremely versatile platform capable of land and maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, naval fleet support, and search and rescue operations.

The Orion aircraft first entered military service in 1968 as the P-3B  model, with the P-3C variant first introduced in 1978. Following several modification projects the significantly upgraded AP-3C Orion (current) were introduced into service in 2002. The AP-3C is a significantly enhanced capability from the first P-3B model; it is now fitted with a variety of sensors, including digital multi-mode radar, electronic support measures, electro-optics detectors (infra-red and visual), magnetic anomaly detectors, friend or foe identification systems and acoustic detectors.

Due to the AP-3C’s excellent surveillance abilities, the Orion is often called on to assist civil authorities in maritime search and rescue operations including survivor search and supply (air drop) missions.

The AP-3C Orion is to be replaced by the P-8A Poseidon and MQ-4C Triton

Australia has an extensive Defence Cooperation Program with the Philippines, which includes counter terrorism cooperation.

The cockpit view of a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion
Terry Turner

Terry Turner is Senior Editor for Defence.com.au and Editor in Chief for the entire stable of CYBER PRESS magazines.CYBER PRESS is an Australian media business specialising in multi-channel broad audience online digital publishing. Our company is the evolution of Eco Magazines, Australia's premiere dedicated online publisher of full-format digital magazines. Put simply, we specialise, where many merely dabble.

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