Auroras over land

CP-130 AuroraMacdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. of Richmond, B.C. is moving ahead with previously announced plans to put some new kinds of radar on Canada’s fleet of CP-140 Aurora patrol aircraft.

“The CP140 Aurora patrol aircraft were acquired by Canada in 1980 and are used primarily for maritime surveillance. When the current Aurora upgrade program is completed, the radar surveillance solution on the Aurora will be able to detect, track, and image objects moving on land or sea,” MDA says in its press release.

MDA and DND have been working on this sincce 2003. After testing and development of this new radar, four Aurora’s will be outfitted with the prototype land radar beginning in April. The fleet will be upgraded with the new radar once the production issues are sorted out.

It’s all part of a long-range plan, through to about 2025, to continue to modernize the Auroras.

And there is some thinking that the giving Aurora the ability to complete surveillance missions over land — as well as improving its defensive capabilities from a land-based threat — means that the Aurora’s could be soon be deployed in support of Canada’s forces in Afghanistan.

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