The U.S. Navy recently lost three P-3C maritime patrol/anti-submarine aircraft in Japan because of excessive snowfall over the Winter. This occurred when a Japanese hanger four American P-3Cs were in collapsed from the extraordinary amount of snowfall on the roof. Upon examination it was determined that three of the four aircraft in the large (it could hold ten P-3Cs) hangar were damaged beyond repair. The P-3Cs were in the hangar to receive scheduled maintenance, which the elderly P-3Cs spend a lot of time dealing with. There were also six Japanese P-3Cs in the same hangar and four of them were declared total losses. The U.S. not has 115 P-3Cs of which 29 percent are out of action because of maintenance.
The P-3 is based on the Electra civilian airliner that first flew in 1954, although only 170 were built, plus 600 P-3s. About 40 Electras, and over 200 P-3s, are still in service worldwide. The 61 ton P-3 has a 32.25 meter (100 foot) wingspan and can stay in the air about ten hours per sortie. Cruise speed is 590 kilometers an hour. The P-3C is being replaced by the P-8A, which is based on the twin-engine Boeing 737 jet transport. The P-3C carries radars and other sensors, as well as a few tons of sonobuoys, depth charges and torpedoes.