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Orion upgrade program back on track, says defense minister

Orion upgrade program back on track, says defense minister

Greece is back on track to start taking delivery of five modernized Hellenic Navy P-3B Orion aircraft via the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) Program within 2023, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos told Parliament on Thursday.

Speaking to lawmakers in response to a question from the opposition Movement for Change (KINAL) party concerning delays in the maritime patrol aircraft modernization program, Panagiotopoulos said it is expected to take up to three years to complete following a series of setbacks.

“Apart from the unexpected impact of the health crisis combined with problems caused by strikes by employees with demands, the delay is also due to a shortage of experienced technical staff at HAI [Hellenic Aerospace Industry], which has been even further reduced lately due to transfers to other HAI programs, such as the F-16 upgrades,” the minister said.

Panagiotopoulos added that development of the Mission Integration and Management Systems (MIMS) software and simulation checks have been completed on schedule, so that it can be installed in the aircraft according to the timeline.