Lockheed EP-3E ARIES II


Four-engine turboprop signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft.


During the 1990s twelve P-3Cs were converted to EP3-E ARIES II to replace older versions of the aircraft. The original ARIES I aircraft were converted in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The last EP-3E ARIES II aircraft was delivered in 1997. EP-3Es have been heavily engaged in reconnaissance in support of NATO forces in Bosnia, joint forces in Korea and in Operation Southern Watch, Northern Watch, and Allied Force.


The EP-3E ARIES II (Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System II) is the Navy’s only land-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft. The 11 aircraft in the Navy’s inventory are based on the P-3 Orion airframe and provide fleet and theater commanders worldwide with near real-time tactical SIGINT. With sensitive receivers and high-gain dish antennas, the EP-3E exploits a wide range of electronic emissions from deep within targeted territory.


Official DesignationEP-3E ARIES II
Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System II
Primary RoleSignals Intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft
National OriginUSA
Original ContractorLockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company
OperatorUnited States Navy
Wingspan99 feet, 6 inches (30.36m)
Length116 feet, 7 inches (35.57m)
Height at Tail33 feet, 7 inches (10.27m)
EnginesFour Allison T-56-A-14 turboprops
Horsepower4,900 shp each
Cruise Speed403 mph (644 km/h)
Max Speed466 mph (745km/h)
Range2,380 nm
Service Ceiling28,300 feet (8,625m)
Operating WeightUnknown
Max Takeoff Weight139,760 pounds (63,394kg)
Basic Crew22
Date Deployed1992
Total in Service11