EP-3E Aries II

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(Redirected from EP-3E)
EP-3 ARIES II
EP-3E ARIES II EP-3E ARIES II</center>
Description
Role
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Wingspan
Height
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Ferry range
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The Lockheed EP-3E ARIES II is a turboprop-based signals reconnaissance aircraft, operated by the United States Navy. It is based on a Lockheed P-3 Orion airframe, which is in turn based on the Lockheed L-188 Electra passenger airliner. There are 11 EP-3Es in the Navy's inventory, the last of which was delivered in 1997. A total of 12 P-3C aircraft were converted to replace older versions of the aircraft, which had been converted in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

On April 1, 2001, an EP-3E was intercepted by Chinese J-8 fighter jets about 70 miles (110 km) off the Chinese island of Hainan. The Chinese later claimed that this plane was spying on Chinese military facilities. One of the Chinese jets bumped the wing of the EP-3E, which was forced to make an emergency landing on Hainan. The Chinese pilot, Wang Wei, was missing and presumed dead following the incident.

The crew of 24 was detained and released April 11 after the U.S. issued the letter of the two sorries. The plane was airlifted to Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia on July 3, 2001.

From 1960 to 1991, the squadrons that flew the EP-3E also flew the Douglas EA-3B Skywarrior Seawing.

General Characteristics

  • Primary Function: Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft
  • Contractor: Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company
  • Unit Cost: $36 million
  • Propulsion: Four Allison T-56-A-14 turboprop engines with 4,900 shaft horsepower (3,700 kW) each
  • Length: 116 ft 7 in (35.57 m)
  • Wingspan: 99 ft 6 in (30.36 m)
  • Height: 33 ft 7 in (10.27 m)
  • Weight: Max gross take-off: 139,760 pounds (63,394 kg)
  • Speed: maximum - 311 knots; cruise - 228 knots
  • Ceiling: 28,300 feet (8,600 m)
  • Range: Maximum mission range - 2,380 nautical miles (2,738.9 miles, 4,400 km); for three hours on station @1,500 feet (500 m) - 1,346 nautical miles (1,549 miles, 2,500 km)
  • Crew: 22+


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