The CP-140 Aurora is the Canadian version of the American P-3 Orion maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The Aurora was first acquired by the Canadian Forces in 1980. The Forces have 18 Auroras in service, 13 in Greenwood (Nova-Scotia) and 5 in Comox (British Columbia.). In addition, the Forces acquired three CP-140A Arcturus aircraft in 1991, which have the same airframe but a smaller avionics suite. The Arcturus are used for northern patrols and pilot training mainly.
The Aurora's main functions are to carry out maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare. In addition, the aircraft is used for fisheries patrols, the surveillance of the Canadian North, anti-surface warfare, joint operations with allied forces, search and rescue, and surveillance operations in support of other government agencies and departments.
The crew of the Aurora consists of ten members: two pilots, a flight engineer, four navigators and three Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators (AESOp). One navigator carries out navigation and communication duties, one is in charge of tactics, and the two others operate the acoustic sensors.
The avionics equipment on-board the Aurora consists of acoustic sensors, a radar, an Electronic Support Measures (ESM) sensor, a Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) camera, and a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD). The aircraft's weapon suite includes torpedos, mines, rockets and bombs. In addition, the aircraft can carry a survival kit that can be dropped from the air to survivors in the water.
Aurora: A national asset to preserve
Aurora on the official Canadian Air Defence Site
CASR DND 101 [CP-140 Aurora ASW/Maritime Patrol Aircraft]
Courtesy of: Jocelyn Desbiens