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 Canadian Air Force's CP-140 Aurora aircarft

The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) is upgrading an additional four CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft under an existing modernisation and life-extension programme.

Scheduled to be carried out at a cost of $548m, the upgrade will add new wings and tail, and advanced avionics and missions systems, such as Link 16 Datalink, beyond line of sight (BLOS) satellite communications capability and an improved self-defence system.

The upgrades are expected to extend the aircraft’s structural life to 2030, and also expand the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) current upgraded Aurora fleet to 14.

Canadian Justice Minister, Attorney General and Nova Scotia Regional Minister Peter MacKay said the upgrade demonstrates the government’s commitment to provide Canadian soldiers with a world-class capability, while further investing and strengthening the national aerospace industry.

"The Auroras will be restored to a like-new configuration with state-of-the-art avionics to ensure they continue to effectively and safely carry out domestic and international roles," MacKay said.

"The Auroras will be restored to a like-new configuration with state-of-the-art avionics."

Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said, "Our government is providing the Canadian armed forces with the updated equipment they require, while also ensuring the best value possible for Canadian taxpayers, maximising job creation, supporting Canadian technological innovation, and bolstering economic growth across the country."

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These enhancements and modifications, which will enable the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to maintain the strongest possible long range patrol capability until at least 2030, are expected to be completed by 2021.

The Aurora programme will also extend the work contracts held by a number of Canadian companies, such as General Dynamics Canada, IMP Group, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates.

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

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

Defence Technology