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 Designation||EP-3E ARIES II|
|Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System II|
|Primary Role||Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft|
|Original Contractor||Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company|
|Operator||United States Navy|
|Wingspan||99 feet, 6 inches (30.36m)|
|Length||116 feet, 7 inches (35.57m)|
|Height at Tail||33 feet, 7 inches (10.27m)|
|Engines||Four Allison T-56-A-14 turboprops|
|Horsepower||4,900 shp each|
|Cruise Speed||403 mph (644 km/h)|
|Max Speed||466 mph (745km/h)|
|Service Ceiling||28,300 feet (8,625m)|
|Max Takeoff Weight||139,760 pounds (63,394kg)|
|Total in Service||11|