Photo Rui Ferreira
04/03/11 By Rui Ferreira Flightglobal.com
The Portuguese air force should accept its second upgraded Lockheed Martin P-3C maritime patrol aircraft into operational use in March, following its arrival at Beja air base late last month. Having been modified to the so-called CUP+ configuration at Lockheed's Greenville site in South Carolina, aircraft 14809's formal acceptance should coincide with the retirement of Portugal's last legacy P-3Ps. These are now flown by the air force's 601 Sqn. Lockheed finished modernisation work on its first of two ex-Royal Netherlands Navy P-3Cs for Portugal last August, as part of a deal for five of the secondhand aircraft. The remaining three are being completed by OGMA in Alverca, with the $141 million upgrade project due to be complete by February 2012.