“By leaps and bounds, we are far more capable with this aircraft . . . We are on the cutting edge of anti-submarine warfare.” said Warrant Officer Darren Struble in an article about the Aurora's performance at RIMPAC.
The Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise and is currently underway in Honolulu Hawaii. Two of the three Auroras that the RCAF has brought to the largest naval war games in the world have new Canadian-made Block III sensors and mission computers that may give Canada the deadliest anti-submarine warfare platform in the world 1.
As the prime system integrator of the Block III mission sensors and systems, General Dynamics Canada played a major role in delivering this “deadly” capability.The Aurora was originally acquired in the 1980s, and the Aurora Incremental Modernization Project (AIMP), consisting of blocks of modernization work, began in 1998 to upgrade its capabilities. The Block III upgrades focused on Aurora's suite of mission avionics, including navigation, communications, mission computer and sensors, and enables the Aurora's capabilities in a variety of roles, including search and rescue, airborne surveillance and reconnaissance, and command and control.
GD Canada developed the Integrated Mission System (IMS) for the upgraded Aurora aircraft. Designed specifically for Canada, the IMS incorporates new radar, electro-optics, electronic support measures, acoustics and magnetic anomaly detector subsystems, and interfaces with the communication and navigation systems.
The focal point of the IMS is the Company's Data Management System which coordinates information gathered from the Aurora's extensive suite of modern on-board sensors to deliver an integrated view of all mission information and to provide unmatched situational awareness to Aurora crews. Of the Block III conversion, Sgt. Francois Leveille of Montreal had this to say “The change is huge. We've gone from being nearly obsolete to having the best of the best . . . I'd put us up against a U.S. Navy P-3 any day.”
1 (Upgrades to Aurora aircraft puts Royal Canadian Air Force on cutting edge of anti-submarine warfare, Matthew Fisher, Postmedia News; July 14, 2014)