First operational flight for Royal Canadian Air Force  Block IV CP-140 Aurora

The first operational flight of a Royal Canadian Air Force  Block IV CP-140 Aurora was completed in February out of 14 Wing Greenwood to exercise upgraded capabilities and start full aircrew training.

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First operational flight for Royal Canadian Air Force Block IV CP 140 Aurora 01 The Aurora supports a wide variety of roles, including operations management, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, strike coordination, and search and rescue. It can also assist other government agencies to combat, illegal fishing, pollution, drug trafficking, and more (Picture source: Royal Canadian Air Force)

The Block IV design added components to the external surface of the CP-140 which changed the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft and had the potential to affect the flying and handling qualities. These components included:

  • - a large Wideband Global SATCOM radome on the upper fuselage
  • - multiple smaller fairings as part of the Directed Infrared Counter Measures system
  • - antennas for the Tactical Data Link 16 system, and
  • - a new anti-collision light on top of the vertical stabilizer

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 a phased approach with four blocks; blocks I, II and III are complete, and block IV is in the implementation phase.

The Government of Canada has also extended the life of the Aurora fleet. The Aurora Structural Life Extension Project (ASLEP) involved replacing wings and horizontal stabilizers on the aircraft, which will extend the operational life of the CP-140 Aurora fleet to the 2030 timeframe. All aircraft have been life-extended and the project is currently in the close-out 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.