The P-3C is recognized around the world as the premier antisubmarine warfare aircraft and is unequaled in its ability to locate, track and attack hostile submarines beneath the waves.
Flown by all Jacksonville-based maritime patrol squadrons, the P-3C was developed from the civilian Electra airliner and is powered by four turboprop engines. The Orion carries a crew of 11 on missions that may last as long as 12 hours and uses a variety of sensors to locate and track enemy submarines. Especially visible is its tail-mounted stinger, which is a magnetic anomaly detector used to find submarines.
The Orion is capable of delivering a host of weapons, including antisubmarine torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles, and both contact and TV-guided bombs.
The aircraft's multimission flexibility also includes pinpoint mine-laying in harbors and shipping lanes.
Sailors of VP-26 made history Jan. 22, 2015, as the last East Coast squadron to deploy in the P-3C Orion aircraft. For the squadron, this deployment marks the sunset of an aircraft with more than a 50-year legacy of excellence and historic milestone.