aURORA AIRCRAFT

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) has been awarded a contract for the supply of airborne radar surveillance systems for integration into the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft fleet.

Awarded by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), the C$64m ($57m) contract covers supply of a total of eight radar surveillance systems for CP-140 upgrade project.

The new systems supplement the radar surveillance systems previously developed and delivered by the company under the programme.

MDA vice-president Don Osborne said the company and DND have developed a successful working relationship based on quality, reliability and value.

"This contract underscores the global need for critical multi-mission intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that aid in the detection of illegal or hostile activity in maritime approaches or remote regions," Osborne said.

MDA’s radar surveillance system is designed to provide operators with a high resolution imaging capability that can detect, locate, and classify, both land and marine-based objects, such as vehicles and ships.

"The new systems supplement the radar surveillance systems previously developed and delivered by the company under the programme."

Based on a Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion platform, the CP-140 Aurora is used by RCAF for maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare (ASW), as well as for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

Around 14 of 18 CP-140 Auroras are being upgraded by the Canadian DND at a cost of more than $2bn to help extend their operational effectiveness to 2030 from 2020.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has to date taken delivery of three upgraded CP-140 Aurora aircraft.

Conducted through the Aurora incremental modernization project, the Aurora structural life extension project and the Aurora extension proposal (AEP), the upgrades will start in 2014 and are scheduled to complete by 2021.

The company did not disclose the contract’s delivery schedule.


Image: A Royal Canadian Air Force’s CP-140 Aurora aircarft stationed at Geilenkirchen Airbase, Germany. Photo: courtesy of Arcturus.

Defence Technology