Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 09, 2011 13:22 ET

National Defence Minister Marks Completion of First Structural Upgrades on Aurora

ENFIELD, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, joined IMP Aerospace today in celebrating a milestone in an upgrade project that will see Canada's fleet of CP-140 Aurora aircraft flying into the next decade.

The first of 10 CP-140 Aurora aircraft - Aircraft 112 - received its completed set of structural upgrades through the Aurora Structural Life Extension Project (ASLEP). The project, launched in 2008, involves major upgrades to the body of the aircraft, including the replacement of the wings and horizontal stabilizers, and will increase the structural life and operational availability of the fleet into the 2020 timeframe.

"The government is committed to providing our military men and women with the equipment they need to do their job," said Minister MacKay. "This impressive and improved aircraft will allow the Royal Canadian Air Force to continue fulfilling its vital role of maintaining Canadian security here at home, while also making a valuable contribution to international security on deployed operations around the world."

The CP-140 Aurora is Canada's only strategic maritime surveillance aircraft that is often used to patrol Canada's coastlines, safeguarding our waters from foreign threats.

The completion of ASLEP modifications of Aircraft 112 is the second major milestone achieved this autumn in the CP-140 Aurora's midlife upgrade. On September 27, 2011, the first Block III-modified CP-140 Aurora, Aircraft 114, was delivered to 14 Wing Greenwood. The Block III modifications are the final round of upgrades made to the Auroras' mission computer system through the Aurora Incremental Modernization Project (AIMP). Initiated in 1998, the project has transformed the aircraft into a modern multi-mission platform that can provide overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, in addition to its traditional maritime patrol role.

The Department of National Defence will now proceed with a combined program, covering both the ASLEP and AIMP, to efficiently deliver the remaining life-extended and modernized Aurora aircraft. This will ensure the CF have relevant surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering capabilities on the Aurora aircraft. The delivery of the final aircraft to be upgraded under the combined modifications of AIMP and ASLEP is expected in 2014.

The combined projects represent a $1.5B ($1.2 billion for AIMP and $279 million for ASLEP) investment by the Government of Canada in the CF and its CP-140 Aurora fleet.

The upgraded aircraft will be based at 14 Wing Greenwood, and 19 Wing Comox. Operational Test and Evaluation will be conducted over the next year to determine appropriate procedures and tactics to take full advantage of the aircraft's new capabilities.

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