Fixed Wing Flying Testbed
P-3C - Testbed for further developments of mission and combat aircraft
Due to its size, performance and diverse applications, the P-3C (civil named L-285D) is ideally suited as a test platform for the further development of the German Armed Forces’ mission and combat aircraft.

Radar developments and radar tests

The P-3C has a particularly large front radome in which radars of various sizes can be tested. The radome can be opened upwards and offers very good access to the installed test equipment.


  • Radar tests: air-to-air radars, maritime surveillance radars, SAR mapping
  • EO/IR sensor tests
  • IRTS (Infrared Search & Tracking System) tests

Load locks on the wings

The P-3C has a total of 10 wing stations with standardised load locks. Three of them are located outside each of the outer engines and two each between the inner engines and the fuselage. Depending on the load lock, the aircraft has a load capacity of 170 kg to 1,100 kg. This enables a load of more than 5 t at the outstations.


  • Testing of reconnaissance containers
  • Self-protection pods
  • Towed decoys (active + passive)
  • Effectors
  • Remote carrier testing (MUM-T)

Antenna installations

The aircraft have a variety of antenna installations. Depending on requirements, there is sufficient space and installation space available for flight tests. Antennas can be positioned flexibly.


  • Side facing AESA antennas
  • Testing of antenna fields for azimuth measurements
  • Validation of array concepts

Tail Cone Section

In the rear fuselage section there are installations for another radar (radiation to the rear) and a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD). The "stinger" and the radar section are made of fibre composite materials and offer sufficient space for test installations.


  • Testing of towed decoys
  • Testing of sensors
  • Testing of radars, jamming antennas, ESM antennas

Bomb bay

The P-3C has a bomb bay in the front fuselage area for submarine-hunting effectors. It can be opened and closed throughout the entire flight regime and has electrical connections and devices for cargo locks. The bay can be used universally. Antennas can be installed in the two door panels and are easily accessible. It is possible to install an equipment rack over the entire area of the shaft.


  • Flight tests or airdrop of test objects
  • Large equipment rack over the entire area of the bomb bay
  • Antenna testing on shaft doors

ESM and DIRCM equipment

The P-3C has a 360 ° ESM system, distributed over several antenna areas as well as chaff and flare dispenser stations.


  • Testing of radar warning receivers
  • Validation of Electronic Locater Systems (ELS)
  • Validation of defensive aids systems
  • Chaff + Flare tests
  • Testing of autonomous self-protection systems
  • Laser warning systems
  • Active laser effectors

Support And Services

  • The flying testbed is offered as a managed solution by ESG
  • Installment and equipment of the flying testbed is realised by the aviation development organisation
  • Depending on requirements, various projects can be integrated into the platform.
For Further information, please contact us