for the venerable P-3C maritime reconnaissance aircraft, there is now a
tremendous need for the land recon version of the P-3C. The P-8A won't enter
service for another five years. There are about 200 P-3Cs left, and most of
them are still equipped for maritime search and anti-sub work. But now the navy
is spending nearly $80 million to equip several more for land recon operations.
There are 65 P-3Cs already fitted out for land recon, and the additional money
will go to replacing the wings (which are weakened from decades of service) on
some aircraft, and installing land recon gear in more maritime recon P-3Cs. The
P-3Cs are particularly useful for patrolling over Iraq and Afghanistan,
looking, and listening, for enemy activity.
While the U.S. Navy is busy developing the replacement (108 P-8As)