OTTAWA, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The Canadian Department of National Defense has announced a modernization commitment for its CP-140 Aurora aircrafts.
Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter Gordon MacKay announced the modernization and structural commitments in an effort to keep the aircrafts operational until 2020, the Canadian Ministry of Defense reported.
"The Department will capitalize on these investments by upgrading the structure on the majority of the fleet," MacKay said in a statement. "The investment will keep the aircraft safe and operationally viable until 2020."
The Defense Ministry's announcement sets into motion the next phase of Aurora's modernization effort incorporating radar and computers among other systems.
"I am pleased to let our Aurora communities know that this valuable information gathering aircraft will continue its proud legacy," said Lt. Gen. Angus Watt, chief of air staff. "The Aurora will provide the Air Force with a significant surveillance capability until such time as a future replacement capability is acquired."
The American-based, Lockheed Martin-built CP-140 Aurora is the Canadian Forces Air Command maritime patrol aircraft. The Air Force and Navy are currently in the process of "assessing and defining their needs for a long-range maritime surveillance aircraft to succeed the Aurora. Technology upgrades already made in the fleet may be transferred and reinvested in the replacement aircraft," the release said.