Lockheed EP-3E (ARIES II)
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Information on the EP-3E (ARIES II)
Four-engine turboprop signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft.
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 Orion P-3 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.
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.
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 (4,900 shaft horsepower each).
Length: 116 feet 7 inches (35.57 meters).
Height: 33 feet 7 inches (10.27 meters).
Wingspan: 99 feet 6 inches (30.36 meters).
Weight: Max gross take-off: 139,760 pounds (63,394.1 kg).
Airspeed: 411 knots (466 mph, 745 kph); cruise - 328 knots (403 mph, 644 kph).
Ceiling: 28,300 feet (8,625.84 meters).
Range: Maximum mission range - 2,380 nautical miles (2,738.9 miles); for three hours on station @1,500 feet - 1,346 nautical miles (1,548.97 miles).
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