PDA

View Full Version : Aurora aircraft may see spy duty in Afghanistan



troung
02 Nov 06,, 19:54
Aurora aircraft may see spy duty in Afghanistan

By CHRIS LAMBIE Staff Reporter

Military planners are examining the possibility of using Aurora long-range patrol aircraft to conduct surveillance flights over Afghanistan.

A source told The Chronicle Herald on Wednesday that the Auroras, most of which are based in Nova Scotia, are being fitted with upgraded equipment that will allow the airplanes to conduct increased and more detailed surveillance over land.

"Aurora-type airplanes are currently deployed in Afghanistan and it would not be a surprise if, at some time in the future, Canadian airframes were added to Canada’s effort to create a safe and secure environment in Afghanistan," said the source.

The United States and Australia have used similar P-3 Orion aircraft to conduct surveillance in Afghanistan.

Canada recently made a commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to have six CF-18 Hornets ready for use in operations, if the alliance asks for them.

"The Aurora is part of the NATO response force with the same sort of commitment," said Lt. Carole Brown, a military public affairs officer in Ottawa.

The military has reportedly made $1.9 million worth of improvements to the CF-18 fighter jets for possible use in Afghanistan. Canada has roughly 2,200 troops in the country’s volatile Kandahar province, working under the NATO umbrella.

Auroras, which can fly more than 9,000 kilometres without refuelling, have been used in recent years to conduct maritime patrols over the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The Auroras were designed in the 1950s and built in the late 1970s. But they are going through a $1.45-billion modernization project slated to end in 2010.

"We’re equipping this aircraft with very exciting systems right now and, of course, want to see these systems put to good use," said Capt. Jean-Pierre Turcotte, a public affairs officer at 14 Wing Greenwood, where 14 of Canada’s 18 Auroras are based.

Auroras are normally used for fisheries and sovereignty patrols over the ocean. But experts at Greenwood have been examining the possibility of using Auroras over land, Capt. Turcotte said.

He hasn’t heard yet if the Auroras will be used in the Afghanistan mission.

"Right now, there are no firm plans to do that."

About 100 troops from 14 Wing Greenwood will be heading to the Middle East in December. They will replace about 200 people from Greenwood who are already deployed to the area.

Canmoore
02 Nov 06,, 23:01
Canada recently made a commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to have six CF-18 Hornets ready for use in operations, if the alliance asks for them.

The military has reportedly made $1.9 million worth of improvements to the CF-18 fighter jets for possible use in Afghanistan. Canada has roughly 2,200 troops in the country’s volatile Kandahar province, working under the NATO umbrella.

well then that explains that Toronto Star article i read a few months back..