MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates announced Monday that it has signed a CA$64 million contract with the Department of National Defence to provide eight radar surveillance systems for the Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora fleet.

The eight additional radar surveillance systems supplement previous surveillance systems developed and delivered by MDA under the Aurora program.

The contract comes just weeks after Canada announced $548 million to upgrade four more CP-140 Aurora aircraft under an extensive, ongoing modernization and life-extension program. That brings to 14 the number of Auroras that will receive new structural components, including wings and tail, as well as upgraded mission systems.

MDA’s radar surveillance system provides a high resolution imaging capability that can detect, locate, and classify, land and marine-based objects, such as vehicles and ships. Don Osborne, the vice president responsible for this business said, “This contract underscores the global need for critical multi-mission intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that aid in the detection of illegal or hostile activity in maritime approaches or remote regions.”

According to DND, the modernized Aurora aircraft will be one of the best ISR platforms globally through 2030. “Upgraded and state-of-the-art avionics and missions systems will add three new capabilities to the aircraft, specifically: Link 16 Datalink, Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) satellite communications capability and an improved self-defence system.”

The life-extension program is expected to cost more than $2 billion. Canada first acquired the fleet of 18 Aurora aircraft in 1980-81. The CP-140s are based at 19 Wing Comox and and 14 Wing Greenwood.