CP-140 Aurora


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Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aircraft


CP-140 Aurora



The CP-140 is a long-range patrol aircraft. Its long endurance and 7,400 kilometre range make it ideal for a variety of missions.

The Royal Canadian Air Force received its fleet of CP-140 Aurora in the early 1980s, primarily for maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

As a “command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” (C4ISR) platform, the Aurora can perform a variety of operations at home and abroad. It has conducted: 

  • the surveillance of Canada’s coastal waters
  • anti-surface warfare
  • maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
  • strike coordination
  • search and rescue (SAR) missions
  • disaster relief missions 

It also provides vital support to other government agencies in combating:

  • illegal immigration
  • illegal fishing
  • pollution
  • drug trafficking

With its latest upgrades, the CP-140 is able to detect and destroy the latest generation of stealth submarines. It has also been equipped with air-droppable survival pods.

Named OperationsYearLocationHow aircraft was employed
CARIBBE Annually Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean Conducts surveillance and patrol missions as part of a multinational effort to stop trafficking.


Technical specifications

Technical specifications


Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Aircraft Corporation
Aircraft Description When it came into service in 1980, the CP-140 Aurora was a successful “marriage” of the Lockheed P-3 Orion airframe with the S-3 Viking avionics suite, which included avionics and an ASW system that was considered leading edge at the time.
Length 35.61 metres
Wingspan 30.37 metres
Height 10.30 metres
Empty weight 27,892 kilograms

Maximum gross weight

64,410 kilograms
Power 4 Alison T-56-A-14-LFE turboprop engines
Maximum speed 750 kilometres per hour
Cruising speed 648 kilometres per hour
Service ceiling 10,668 metres
Range 7,400 kilometres
Endurance 12 hours, with routine planning of 10 to 11 hours. The Aurora has, however, remained airborne for up to 17 hours
Surveillance Equipment APS 508 multi-mode Imaging Radar System; MVASP acoustics system; internal and externally launched, active and passive sonobuoys; MX20 Electro-Optical InfraRed (EO/IR) camera; AN/ASQ – 508 magnetic anomaly detector (MAD); Link-11 Tactical Data Link; AN/ALQ-507 Electronic Support Measures (ESM); Fully integrated Data Management System.
Weapons System Mark 46 Mod 5 torpedoes; signal charges; smoke markers; illumination flares
Other Equipment Two sea “survival kit—air-droppable” (SKAD) and Arctic SKAD units
Crew minimum of 10, including 2 pilots, 1 flight engineer, 2 air combat systems officers, 5 airborne electronic sensor operators (AESOPs). (The crew size will vary according to mission.)
Year(s) procured 1980
Quantity in CF 14
Location(s) 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia
14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia


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