Home Air Norway bidding farewell to its P-3 Orions after 54 years

Norway bidding farewell to its P-3 Orions after 54 years

Photo: Royal Norwegian Air Force

After a 54-year run, the Royal Norwegian Air Force is set to bid farewell to its trusted workhorse, Lockheed Martins’ P-3 Orion.

The final flight ceremony will take place on June 30, symbolizing a retirement for the aircraft that has been operating from Andøya for decades.

The Norwegian Armed Forces are switching over to the Boeing-built P-8 Poseidon, the first of which arrived in the country in February last year. Operating out of Evenes Air Station, where most of the personnel currently involved with P-3 operations at Andøya will move, the new platform will be taking over tasks from their predecessors this year. A total of five P-8As will replace the current fleet of six P-3 Orions and two DA-20 Jet Falcons.

A personnel transition is underway as a substantial portion of the P-3 Orion crew members are being relocated to the Evenes air station, where they will join the ranks of the P-8 Poseidon personnel.

As the Orions bow out of service, the Andøya air station will be closing after 65 years as an operational air station. The 333 Squadron, which operates the P-3, celebrated 80 years of operations last year.

In addition to housing the Poseidons, the new air station at Evenes has been developed as a base for the F-35 fifth-generation fighters, from where they are already performing Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) missions.

The P-8 Poseidon that is taking over from the P-3 is a versatile maritime patrol aircraft excelling in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as search and rescue operations.

With its high altitude capability of up to 41,000 feet and a speed of 490 knots, the P-8 can swiftly respond, minimizing search areas and enhancing mission efficiency.

Additionally, the aircraft’s design is optimized for low-altitude missions and has already demonstrated its effectiveness in supporting humanitarian and search and rescue missions.