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CP-140 Aurora

cplcaldwell

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The following article was noted on yahoo.ca news

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings Provisions of the Copyright Act.(RSC)



Ottawa halts $1.6B upgrade of patrol aircraft


Ottawa has halted a $1.6-billion upgrade that would extend the life of Canada's fleet of Aurora patrol aircraft, CBC News has learned.

The Department of National Defence has already spent more than half of the budget of the planned 10-year overhaul - adding $1 billion worth of new equipment, such as navigation systems and flight data recorders, to the 18 planes.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay on Thursday confirmed DND is considering winding down the 30-year-old fleet and replacing it with new planes.


"We want to make sure we have planes that can fly safely, planes that can continue to play an important role in surveillance," said MacKay.


The fleet monitors Canada's coasts, watching for illegal fishing, polluters, drug smugglers and foreign vessels challenging Canada's sovereignty.


Critics say Ottawa shouldn't waste the many millions of dollars already spent on upgrades.


"What kind of plane might replace the Aurora? Is it one that's going to be more costly or less costly? So at this point I think we have a lot of unanswered questions," said John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.


NDP MP Joe Comartin said he thinks the federal auditor general should be involved in this kind of decision.


"There has to be accountability found," he said.


Retired air force pilot Terry Wiseman said replacing the fleet will take years. In the interim, the Auroras will continue to age without the upgrades necessary to continue patrolling as often as they should.


"As the Aurora is allowed to atrophy, its capabilities are allowed to atrophy, we're concerned that we will be deaf, dumb and blind in our northern regions," said Chester.


The Department of National Defence says it will make a decision by Nov. 20 on whether to replace the Auroras. Ottawa could face financial penalties if the hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts is cancelled.

 

prom

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Reproduced under the Fair Dealings Provisions of the Copyright Act.(RSC)

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/09/20/aurora-upgrade.html?ref=rss

Ottawa halts $1.6B upgrade of patrol aircraft
Last Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2007 | 11:11 PM ET
CBC News
Ottawa has halted a $1.6-billion upgrade that would extend the life of Canada's fleet of Aurora patrol aircraft, CBC News has learned.


The 30-year-old Aurora fleet may be replaced with new planes.
(CBC)
The Department of National Defence has already spent more than half of the budget of the planned 10-year overhaul — adding $1 billion worth of new equipment, such as navigation systems and flight data recorders, to the 18 planes.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay on Thursday confirmed DND is considering winding down the 30-year-old fleet and replacing it with new planes.

"We want to make sure we have planes that can fly safely, planes that can continue to play an important role in surveillance," said MacKay.

Continue Article

The fleet monitors Canada's coasts, watching for illegal fishing, polluters, drug smugglers and foreign vessels challenging Canada's sovereignty.

Critics say Ottawa shouldn't waste the many millions of dollars already spent on upgrades.

"What kind of plane might replace the Aurora? Is it one that's going to be more costly or less costly? So at this point I think we have a lot of unanswered questions," said John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

NDP MP Joe Comartin said he thinks the federal auditor general should be involved in this kind of decision.

"There has to be accountability found," he said.

Retired air force pilot Terry Wiseman said replacing the fleet will take years. In the interim, the Auroras will continue to age without the upgrades necessary to continue patrolling as often as they should.

"As the Aurora is allowed to atrophy, its capabilities are allowed to atrophy, we're concerned that we will be deaf, dumb and blind in our northern regions," said Chester.

The Department of National Defence says it will make a decision by Nov. 20 on whether to replace the Auroras. Ottawa could face financial penalties if the hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts is cancelled.



I guess the question of the day is now, what aircraft can be procured to replace them?

P-8?
some type of smaller aircraft?
UAV?
Some mixture of UAV and another platform?
 

Globesmasher

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Yes this is rather disturbing.
I saw this on The National last night.

It seems to be a Catch 22 situation.
Damned if you continue the upgrades and damned if you don't.

I think there will be some steep penalties to pay to cancel the remaining phases of the AIMP contract.

A scary time to be in the MP community right now ... or exciting, depends on how you look at it.
 

Cdn Blackshirt

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Globesmasher said:
Yes this is rather disturbing.
I saw this on The National last night.

It seems to be a Catch 22 situation.
Damned if you continue the upgrades and damned if you don't.

I think there will be some steep penalties to pay to cancel the remaining phases of the AIMP contract.

A scary time to be in the MP community right now ... or exciting, depends on how you look at it.

Does the P-8 have any additional capabilities (or perhaps range) that would make it superior in an arctic patrol role?


Matthew.    :salute:
 

GAP

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Was the upgrade cancelled because continuing them would have left you with an old tired air frame with new components?

What does the US use now? What are other countries using that has a similar role?
 

Mortar guy

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One thing that isn't clear in this story is how much of AIMP will be cancelled. Much of the work is already done and paid for and to cancel it would be a stunning display of Chretien-esque stupidity. If they are talking about the Aurora Life Extension project (new wings etc.) that would make more sense to me.

I really can't see them cancelling most of AIMP as its already bought, paid for and even installed in some cases.

MG
 
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Bandit1

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Cdn Blackshirt said:
Does the P-8 have any additional capabilities (or perhaps range) that would make it superior in an arctic patrol role?

Matthew.    :salute:

For a full rundown on the P-8, check here.  For a quick rundown on the Aurora, check here.

To get to the skinny of your question, the Aurora has 17 hours endurance and 9266 km range vs. the P-8, which has a range of 2222 km, with 4 hours on station.

Much hype has been made about the P-8.  It looks like it would be a decent air frame which could handle the hours it would be flying.  Personally, though, I love the Aurora and in my personal opinion we should, if possible, simply get new air frames for the fleet that we have now and keep going ahead with the AIMP upgrades that are already almost completed.  Other countries like the US, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Greece, and Japan amongst other use the P-3 airframe as well.

I know it would be a pain in the butt to reconfigure new birds, but the Aurora has proven itself time and time again doing everything that we ever asked of it, and that includes patrols over the arctic, SAR, shipping and fishing investigations, and a whole whack of other things that are covered under OPSEC.  US stats are available, and state that in Desert Storm, P-3s logged more than 12,000 hours in 1,200 combat surveillance sorties. I love the fact that it has everything that 2 Vikings can carry thrown into 1 airframe...and those Alison turboprops sound cool!  :)

Thoughts...?
 
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aesop081

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Mortar guy said:
One thing that isn't clear in this story is how much of AIMP will be cancelled. Much of the work is already done and paid for and to cancel it would be a stunning display of Chretien-esque stupidity. If they are talking about the Aurora Life Extension project (new wings etc.) that would make more sense to me.

I really can't see them cancelling most of AIMP as its already bought, paid for and even installed in some cases.

MG

AIMP Block 1 is done and installed on all aircraft ( removal of OMEGA and new HF comms)

AIMP Block 2 installation is done on one aircraft ( Glass cockpit and new navigation suite as well as the new comms management system. The matching flight deck sim is built and the avionics maintenance trainer is set-up)

The MX-20 EO/IR, originaly part of block 3 was installed

One aircraft is at L3 for Block 3 upgrades ( new radar, ESM, MAD, acoustic system and the data management system )

Thats where we stand on AIMP at this time. The government already dropped the ball on ASLEP ( Aurora Service Life Extension Project - new wings and tail ) so the demise of the fleet is inevitable. This is something that all P-3 users have to deal with.  The USN is retiring P-3s at such a rate that the P-8 might not even be ready when all P-3s are time-expired.
 

prom

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well a couple questions;

1) While searching around for more info on the P-8, I decided to refrence the 737-800ERX that it is based off of. I deiscovered some intresting data on its range under full load, 5445km. Now I do understand that the P-8 operating altitude would be far below the cruise alitudes of the civi version, thus causing more fuel burn and shorter rage and time on station. However, I also found refrence to additional in body fule tanks a total of 6, 3 fore and 3 aft, to gain addition range and time on station. This refrence is wiki so I do take it with a grain of salt as i can not seem to find refreneced anywhere else.

737-800ERX

2) Could this reduction in Patrol preformance, with the addition of a higher "dash" speed be a result of the overall US plan to have long duration UAVs providing contiinious coverage and patrol, and perhaps using the P-8 in a more selective manner leaving the more mundane tasks to the UAVs and their operators?

3) Is the P-8 a good fit for Canada, now or in the future? If the additional fule tanks refrenced in teh wiki article are not standard but are optional, would turning the P-8 into a flying gas can give it the needed range and duration to fit into our patrol style?

4)Should Canada be looking at the same type of Patrol PLan that the USN is and adopt a long duration UAV to augment its patrol aircraft?
 
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aesop081

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prom said:
3) Is the P-8 a good fit for Canada, now or in the future? If the additional fule tanks refrenced in teh wiki article are not standard but are optional, would turning the P-8 into a flying gas can give it the needed range and duration to fit into our patrol style?

I'm curious as to what you think is our "style' ?
 

prom

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I was referring to us maintaining our current manned flight hours, for long duration missions, into the future and not adopting a hybrid UAV/human approach that i referenced with changes in the US for use of persistent coverage by long duration UAVs. Sorry that I did not clearly define what I meant by style, I assumed that it would not be necessary, and again it proved what happens when one makes assumptions.
 
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aesop081

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prom said:
I was referring to us maintaining our current manned flight hours, for long duration missions, into the future and not adopting a hybrid UAV/human approach that i referenced with changes in the US for use of persistent coverage by long duration UAVs. Sorry that I did not clearly define what I meant by style, I assumed that it would not be necessary, and again it proved what happens when one makes assumptions.

I was just curious as to what you though maritime patrol does.  Our mission is probably one of the most marginalized in the AF so i dont expect many people to have the slightest clue what we do.
 

prom

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fair enough.... and understood, I do realise that you do many operations hence my questioning and my amazemnet with the difference in ranges of the P3 to the P8 and my subsequent questions.

SO i guess to you would be a nice a simple question would the P8 be a good fit for Canada as a replacement to the P3?
 
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aesop081

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prom said:
SO i guess to you would be a nice a simple question would the P8 be a good fit for Canada as a replacement to the P3?

Purely from a capabilities standpoint, absolutely. From a budget standpoint, i'm not sure we can afford it.

AIMP for the Aurora is pointless if not accompanied with ASLEP.  Even if both those programs go ahead, no matter what you do to a 27 year old airplane, it is still a 27 year old airplane.

my opinion only of course
 

Sub_Guy

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I personally think the US made a big mistake going with the 737, and I think they should have stuck with the P3 airframe, I know Boeing was awarded the MMA contract so its too bad that we will never see the Orion 21.

You can't replace the CP-140 with UAV's,  but you could probably augment a MPA with UAV's......

I just hope they don't put a halt on MOAT courses......  It will be interesting to see what will come out of this, I heard a little thing about using Dash-8's as coastal patrol aircraft, but that could have been the punch line of some sick joke.....

Anyway seeing as I my experience level is (ZERO) I will shut it.

 

MarkOttawa

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Here are the users of the Dash-8 (Q whatever) for maritime patrol--I suspect our requirements are rather more demanding:
http://www.bombardier.com/index.jsp?id=3_0&lang=en&file=/en/3_0/pressrelease.jsp%3Fgroup%3D3_0%26lan%3Den%26action%3Dview%26mode%3Dlist%26year%3Dnull%26id%3D4724%26sCateg%3D3_0

Mark
Ottawa
 

prom

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there are other options out there that have some merit, susch as the MRA4 Nimrod, the MPA320 (german and itlian joint project as a P-3 replacement based off an A320ER, I read somewhere about some smaller nations using small business jets and out fitting them with the proper equipment.

but hey way outta my lane too

and thanks for your opnion on the P8 CDN, it is very much appreciated.


edit: Most liekly it was information on the dash 8 that Im refering to with respect to teh smaller business jets  :salute:
 
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