Sunday, January 2, 2011

Taiwan P-3s to Get Fresh Propellers

Defense News


Taiwan P-3s to Get Fresh Propellers


TAIPEI - The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $10 million contract to Pacific Propeller International, based in Kent, Wash., for refurbishing 56 P-3C HS54H60-77 propeller assemblies for the Taiwan Navy's 12 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

The Dec. 23 announcement was made under terms and conditions of the Foreign Military Sales program managed by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). Work is expected to be completed in August 2014.

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command was the contractor, a DSCA contract announcement said. The U.S. Congress was notified of the sale of 12 P-3Cs to Taiwan in 2007 after a delay dating back to 2001 when the U.S. government first offered the aircraft to Taiwan. Political bickering in Taipei over the defense budget caused the delays. The aircraft will replace the aging Grumman S-2T Turbo Tracker anti-submarine aircraft acquired during the 1980s after a conversion of Taiwan's older S-2E/G to T standards.

Taiwan has operated a variety of S-2 models since the late 1960s. Today, sources indicate only a handful are still operational and that none are mission capable.

Taiwan is facing a growing threat by Chinese submarines. China has roughly 60 conventional attack and ballistic missile submarines. Taiwan has only two conventional Dutch-built attack submarines and two World War II-era U.S.-built Guppy-class training submarines.