Monday, April 15, 2024
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On November 16, 2004 the US Administration notified Congress that Pakistan was to receive a $1.2 billion arms package from the United States, including the supply of eight Lockheed P-3 Orions which being stored in the AMARC inventory. Once delivered these aircraft will be used to bolster Pakistan's search surveillance and control capability in support of maritime interdiction operations. They are also being used to provide additional capability in the support of US Enduring Freedom operations by improving the ability to restrict littoral movement of terrorists along its southern border.

If all the P-3 Orion options are taken up they will form the bulk of the package with an estimated value of $970 million.

Pakistan P-3 Orion_1
Lockheed P-3C Orion 159508. © Phil Kovaric.
Pakistan P-3 Orion_2
Lockheed P-3C Orion 159511. © Phil Kovaric.
Pakistan P-3 Orion_4
Lockheed P-3C Orion 159511. © Phil Kovaric.
Pakistan P-3 Orion_5_1
Lockheed P-3C Orion 159509. This aircraft was used as a source of spares for the regeneration of the Pakistani purchased P-3s and was later scrapped at HVF West, Tucson, AZ. © Phil Kovaric.

After flight preparation work had been completed by the AMARC technicians the aircraft were flown to the Lockheed Martin Company at Greenville, SC. Lockheed where the final upgrades were carried out before officially being handed over to the Pakistan Navy.

The eight P-3 Orions deleivered to Pakistan are detailed below :-

PCN BuNo C/n Arrival
Previous Unit PAF Serial
AN2P0165 159511 5629 13-JUL-95 VP-92, NAS Brunswick, ME. 86
AN2P0166 159890 5641 10-AUG-95 VP-69, NAS Whidbey Island, WA. 80
AN2P0171 159883 5634 21-SEP-95 VP-69, NAS Whidbey Island, WA. 84
AN2P0174 159505 5623 30-MAY-96 VP-69, NAS Whidbey Island, WA. 85
AN2P0175 159510 5628 30-MAY-96 VP-69, NAS Whidbey Island, WA. 87
AN2P0176 159509 5627 06-AUG-96 VP-65, NAS Point Mugu, CA. See Note 1.
AN2P0178 159508 5626 17-SEP-96 VP-94, NAS New Orleans, LA. 88
AN2P0184 160289 5652 16-DEC-97 VP-30, NAS Jacksonville, FL. 89


1. 159509 was purchased by Pakistan for spare parts and was eventually scrapped by HVF West, Tucson, AZ.

AMARC have previously been involved in the supply of P-3 Orions to Pakistan when they reactivated three embargoed P-3C Orions in 1996 and 1997 after the aircraft were withheld due to the Pressler Ammendment imposed in 1990. This amendment prohibited any United States Assistance to Pakistan if the President failed to certify Pakistan was not in possession of a nuclear explosive device.

Before their delivery to AMARC for storage the aircraft had been used to train Pakistan Navy aircrews with VP-30 at NAS Jacksonville, FL.

Of these three P-3's two remain in service with No.28 Squadron at PNS Mehran (Faisal). The third, 27 (ex. BuNo 164469) ,crashed off the Balochistan coast on October 29, 1999 unfortunately killing all 21 navy personnel on board. The wreckage of the aircraft was discovered 10 kilometres off of the coast in 25 foot of water and was spread over a two kilometre area.