Support: Simulating The Good Parts


February 4, 2009: After six years of effort, the U.S. Navy has created its first of five Tactical Operational Readiness Trainer (TORT) for the P-3 anti-submarine warfare aircraft. This is a computer simulator that completely simulates the environment the crew of a P-3 operates in. This enables the entire crew, including the two pilots, to train together using the same equipment they have on an actual P-3. The five TORT simulators are replacing older models that did not simulate all the equipment on a P-3, nor the latest models of gear found on the P-3.

A major reason for the TORT simulators is the need to fly the aging P-3s less, while still keeping the crews well practiced with their equipment. While most P-3 missions are ten hours of tedium, a few hours in TORT can run a crew through several of the more challenging situations they would encounter in wartime, or while dealing with some kind of peacetime emergency. The TORT can be run more than 20 hours a day, seven days a week (to accommodate reservists on weekends).

The average age of the U.S. P-3Cs is 29 years. The U.S. Navy is developing a replacement aircraft for the P-3, the P-8A, which is not expected to be operational for another decade. The P-3 entered service in 1962. The current version (the P-3C) has a cruise speed of 610 kilometers per hour, endurance of up to 13 hours and a crew of eleven. The 116 foot long, propeller driven aircraft has a wingspan of nearly 100 feet. The P-3C can carry about ten tons of weapons (torpedoes, mines, or missiles like Harpoon and Maverick).

The 63 ton P-3 is based on the 1950s era Lockheed Electra airliner. The last P-3 was built in 1990. A more likely replacement for these elderly search planes, are UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), like Global Hawk or smaller aircraft like Predator. These UAVs typically stay in the air for 24 hours, or more, at a time. What maritime reconnaissance aircraft need, more than anything else, is endurance or, as the professionals like to put it, "persistence."



Article Archive

Support: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close