L-3 Communications’ L-3 Integrated Systems has today been awarded $48 million to refurbish and maintain 16 US Navy P-3 aircraft as part of the Enhanced Special Structural Inspection (ESSI) program.
The ESSI program includes a series of structural inspections, pre-emptive repairs, and structural airframe enhancements to support operational P-3 aircraft, a long-range, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft.
To minimise the impact of Fatigue Life Expended (FLE), the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) developed the ESSI program and identified primary replacement structural components to specifically address high fatigue failure areas discovered during recent P-3 service life fatigue testing.
The scope of the ESSI program includes the procurement and installation of kits for 16 P-3 aircraft, which will replace fatigued critical structure in the outer and centre wing assemblies.
The first aircraft induction is scheduled for October 13, 2003, with subsequent aircraft to follow approximately every 30 days. Additional aircraft beyond the initial 16 have been identified for induction into this process, and a follow-on contract for these additional aircraft will be competed in 2004.