Naval Air: Auroras Abandon The Ocean

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September11, 2008:  Noting the success American P-3 and British Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft have had at doing reconnaissance over land, Canada is going ahead with upgrading ten of its eighteen CP-140 aircraft  so they can track things on land. Thus modified, the CP-140s can also serve on peacekeeping missions, where large, unruly areas have to be patrolled. This upgrade program has been proceeding, on and off (depending on which way the political winds were blowing) for ten years. The refurbishment is mainly concerned with keeping the aircraft flyable for another twelve years, as well as and making them more capable of patrolling over land, there being much less of a submarine threat (with the demise of the Soviet Union submarine fleet in the 1990s).

Canada has eighteen CP-140 Auroras, which entered service in the 1980s. The CP-140 Aurora is an American P-3 airframe equipped with gear from the P-3C Orion and the S-3A Viking. The CP-140 is mainly an ASW (anti-submarine warfare) aircraft, can also perform maritime surveillance, counter-drug, search and search-and-rescue. Three CP-140s were bought in the 1990s (the Arcturus model), that were used for training or maritime patrol (no ASW).

 


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