CP-140 Aurora fleet modernization and life extension

Project summary

The Government of Canada is modernizing its fleet of 14 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 four blocks, a phased approach called a “blocking strategy”. Blocks 1 and 2 are completed, and blocks 3 and 4 are in the implementation phase.

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 project is currently in the implementation phase.

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.

Project phases

Currently in Phase 4: Implementation

 

1. Identification

1. Identification

Aurora incremental modernization project (AIMP)

  • August 1998

Aurora structural life extension project (ASLEP)

  • March 2008
2. Options analysis

2. Options analysis

 Aurora incremental modernization project (AIMP)

  • Carried under a previous project

Aurora structural life extension project (ASLEP)

  • Carried under a previous project
3. Definition

3. Definition

  Aurora incremental modernization project (AIMP)

  • Waived for block I, II and III
  • Block IV preliminary project approval: October 2013

Aurora structural life extension project (ASLEP)

  • Waived
4. Implementation

4. Implementation

  Aurora incremental modernization project (AIMP)

  • 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
    • Project approval: October 1999
    • Contract award: December 1999
    • Initial operational capability: 1 December 2003
    • Full operational capability: December 2005
  •  Block II: Replace the outdated navigation and communication management systems, and associated radios
    • Project approval
      • Navigation systems : June 1999
      • Communications systems : June 2002
    • Contract award:
      • Navigation systems: August 2000
      • Communications systems:  June 2002
    • Initial operational capability: February 2008
    • Full operational capability: March 2012
  • Block III: Replace the mission computer a­­­nd sensors (radar, electro-optics/infrared sensor package, ESM, and acoustic detection systems)
    • Project approval: May 2002
    • Contract award:  May 2002
    • Initial operational capability: January 2014
    • Full operational capability: April 2019
  • 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.
    • Project approval: June 2015
    • Contract award: October 2015
    • Initial operational capability: December 2018
    • Full operational capability: June 2020

Aurora structural life extension project (ASLEP)

  • Project Approval: May 2008
  • Initial Operational Capability: April 11, 2012
  • Full Operational Capability: April 2019
5. Close-out

5. Close-out

 Aurora incremental modernization project (AIMP)

  • December 2020

Aurora structural life extension project (ASLEP)

  • July 2019

 

Additional information

Project Updates

Project Updates

February 2016
The Block IV System Design Review (SDR) was conducted.  The SDR is a significant milestone for the project as it signals the beginning of the preliminary design phase.

October 16, 2015
General Dynamics wins a contract amendment to implement the Block IV modifications to the Data Management System.

June 2015
Block IV of the AIMP received project approval.

October 2014
Two CP-140 Aurora are deployed on Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the fight against ISIL in the Middle East.

January 2014
Initial Operational Capability for Block III is achieved. Block III involves the upgrade to three key features:

  • beyond-line-of-sight satellite communication
  • link 16 datalink, a military tactical data exchange network used by NATO countries
  • self defence system

March 2012
Block II of the AIMP is completed, involving replacement of outdated navigation and communication management systems, and associated radios.

March 2011
Two CP-140 Aurora are deployed on Operation MOBILE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in the international response to the popular uprising in Libya against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

February 2010
One CP-140 Aurora supports the RCMP-led Integrated Security Unit for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games under Operation PODIUM.

December 2005
Block I of the AIMP is completed, involving replacement of the high frequency radio and several obsolete systems to provide a baseline for other major upgrades that will follow.

Benefiting Canadian industry

Benefiting Canadian industry

Industrial and regional benefits:

List of Procurements and their IRB Managers

Contractors

The links below lead to externals websites that may be available in English only.

Technical information

Technical information

Aurora specifications

  • 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
      • Modular VME Acoustic Sensor Processor AN/UYS-504 acoustic system capable of analyzing 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
      • Sonobuoys
      • 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
Project cost

Project cost

The total estimated cost for AIMP and ASLEP combined is $2.2 billion.

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