The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command announced the grounding of 39 Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft due to structural fatigue concerns.
The concerns are the result of continuing P-3 fatigue life analysis and validation by physical findings.
Program officials determined that these aircraft are beyond known structural limits on the lower section of the P-3 wing. Analysis and corrective measures are expected to take between 18 to 24 months per aircraft to complete.
The Navy has a total of 161 P-3C aircraft in its inventory. Of the 39 aircraft being grounded, ten are currently deployed. (Naval Air Systems Command)