The Government of Canada is modernizing its fleet of 14 CP-140 Aurora aircraft. The Aurora Incremental Modernization Project (AIMP) involves 23 individual projects to acquire, integrate and install new mission systems and sensors onto the CP-140 for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. This project is being executed in a phased approach with four blocks; blocks I, II and III are complete, and block IV is now in the implementation phase.
- Block I: Replace the high frequency radio and a number of obsolete systems in order to provide a baseline for the major upgrades that followed.
- Block II: Replace the outdated navigation and communication management systems, and associated radios.
- Block III: Replace the mission computer and sensors (radar, electro-optics/infrared sensor package, ESM, and acoustic detection systems).
- Block IV: Upgrade three key features of the fourteen block III configured aircraft: beyond-line-of-sight satellite communication, link 16 datalink (a military tactical data exchange network used by NATO countries), and self defence system.
- Initial operational capability: June 2020
- Full operational capability: September 2022
The Government of Canada is also extending the life of the Aurora fleet. The Aurora Structural Life Extension Project (ASLEP) involves replacing wings and horizontal stabilizers on the aircraft. It will extend the operational life of the CP-140 Aurora fleet to 2030. This full operational capability for ASLEP is set to be reached this month (February 2020).
About Canada’s CP-140 Aurora
The CP-140 Aurora is based on the Lockheed P-3 Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) but is fitted with a different and more comprehensive sensor suite. When AIMP is fully implemented, the aircraft will be designated CP-140M
The Aurora fleet is Canada’s primary airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft. The Aurora provides a full range of maritime, littoral and overland surveillance capabilities for domestic and deployed missions in support of Canadian sovereignty and international objectives, as well as anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. It has been modernized with a world-class integrated mission suite with state-of-the-art avionics, communications systems, computer networks, and sensors.
- Length: 35.61 metres
- Wingspan: 30.37 metres
- Height: 10.30 metres
- Power: 4 Allison T-56-A-14-LFE turboprop engines
- Maximum Speed: 750 kilometres per hour
- Cruising Speed: 556 kilometres per hour
- Range: 7,400 kilometres
- Equipment :
- Navigation systems including :
- Control display unit, used to display all information critical to flight, including speed, altitude, heading
- AN/ARN-508 VOR/ILS/marker beacon, used for enroute navigation and landing
- Embedded global positioning system/Inertial navigation system (EGI), used to provide aircraft position, heading and velocity
- Communications systems including:
- AN/ARC-511 and AN/ARC-513 very high frequency (VHF) radios, used for line of sight air traffic management and marine communications
- AN/ARC-210 and AN/ARC-234 very and ultra high frequency (V/UHF) radios, used for line of sight data communications and two-way radio communication
- ARC-512 high frequency (HF) radios and Link-11 tactical data Link, used to transmit, relay and receive long range tactical data and communication
- Data management system that integrates information and displays it from the following sensors:
- AN/APS-508 multi-mode Imaging radar system, an exceptionally capable detection, tracking and imaging radar system for weather avoidance, maritime and ground-mapping roles
- MX-20 electro-optics/infrared sensor package that allows day and night visual surveillance at extended ranges
- AN/UYS-504 modular VME acoustic sensor processor for analysis of information received from sonobuoys
- AN/ASQ-508 magnetic anomaly detector, used primarily for the detection of submarines
- AN/ALQ-507 electronic support measures (ESM) system, used to identify and locate sources of radio frequency emission
- Armament and search stores:
- Mark 46 mod 5 torpedoes
- Signal charges
- Smoke markers
- Illumination flares
- Crew : Standard crew complement of 10 members varying according to mission including:
- 2 pilots
- 1 flight engineer
- 2 air combat sensor officers
- 5 airborne electronic sensor operators
- Navigation systems including :