Vietnamese Navy interested in former Japanese P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to sign a defense-export deal with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc during his visit to Vietnam next week, VietDefense announces on its Facebook page, according to an Asia.Nikkei post.

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Vietnamese Navy interested in former Japanese P 3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft

Japanese Navy P-3C Orion (Picture source: Wikimedia/Toshi Aoki-JP Spotters)

On a side note its worth mentioning that the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is in the process of phasing out their Lockheed P-3C Orion planes and replace them with Kawasaki P-1s, one of the few western planes Vietnam has expressed interest in to strengthen maritime surveillance capabilities. Acquiring second-hand P-3Cs from Japan could be a cheaper alternative for the Vietnamese Naval Aviation rather than purchasing directly from the United States.

As for the possibility of purchasing directly from the US the P-3C isn't considered "lethal weaponry" and is thus available under the current limits of the U.S.-Vietnam arms trade.

The Lockheed P-3 Orion is an anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the U.S Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily distinguished from the Electra by its distinctive tail stinger or "MAD Boom", used for the magnetic detection of submarines. Over the years, the aircraft has seen numerous design developments, most notably in its electronics packages. Numerous navies and air forces around the world continue to use the P-3 Orion, primarily for maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.