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RAF 100

US Navy P-3C Orion

Arriving at the Air Tattoo from Jacksonville in Florida will be one of the US Navy's long-serving frontline land-based maritime patrol aircraft - the P-3C 'Orion'.

This four-engined, turboprop antisubmarine and maritime surveillance aircraft has been serving with the Navy since 1969. In the late 1990s and early 21st century, the P-3C's mission has evolved to include surveillance of the battlespace, either at sea or over land. Its long range and long loiter time have proved invaluable assets during Operation Iraqi Freedom as it can view the battlespace and instantaneously provide that information to ground troops, especially US Marines.

On operations, the aircraft has a crew of 11. It can fly up to 28,300ft and has a maximum speed of around 470mph (411knots).

The aircraft will come from VP-30, the Navy's Maritime Patrol Fleet Replacement Squadron, which provides aircraft-specific training for pilots, naval flight officers and enlisted aircrew prior to them reporting to the fleet.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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