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Canadair CP-107 Argus

Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Thirty-three Canadair CP-107 Argus aircraft were built by local Canadian aero-industry - serving primarily in the maritime patrol role.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 10/15/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1957
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Manufacturer(s): Canadair - Canada
Production: 33
Capabilities: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); Reconnaissance (RECCE);
Crew: 15
Length: 128.77 ft (39.25 m)
Width: 142.22 ft (43.35 m)
Height: 38.71 ft (11.8 m)
Weight (Empty): 80,998 lb (36,740 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 157,002 lb (71,215 kg)
Power: 4 x Wright R-3350 TC18EA1 turbo-compound engines developing 3,700 horsepower each driving three-bladed propeller units.
Speed: 315 mph (507 kph; 274 kts)
Ceiling: 25,000 feet (7,620 m; 4.73 miles)
Range: 5,903 miles (9,500 km; 5,130 nm)
Operators: Canada (retired)
Canadair (of Canada) was founded during the fighting of World War 2 (1939-1945) in 1944 and managed a healthy stable of aircraft designs. It also served well as a production facility for foreign types and helped to establish a considerable aero-industry in the country. It eventually saw privatization in 1986 and became a part of the Bombardier Aerospace brand label.

In the 1950s, the company looked to deliver a new maritime patrol platform for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Work began in April of 1954 under the name of "Britannia Maritime Reconnaissance" (Britannia MR) and was based on the existing prop-powered British Bristol Britannia airliner / transport aircraft. The Bristol Britannia saw a first-flight on August 16th, 1952 and was introduced with launch carrier BOAC on February 1st, 1957. Its design was attributed to Dr. Archibald Russell and some 85 examples were ultimately delivered - limited by the emergence of jet-powered airliner forms.

The new aircraft maintained much of the form of the original offering. The powerplant of choice became the American Wright R-3350 (TC18EA1) turbo-compound engine of 3,700 horsepower output, a system using a turbine to recover some of the energy still present in exhaust gases. Internally, the all-cabin pressurization system was discarded to make room for a pair of bomb bays. The wings were retained as was the tricycle undercarriage. The crew consisted of fifteen personnel including pilots and mission specialists, the latter to man the maritime equipment now installed. Armament support included torpedoes, depth charges and naval mines - up to 8,000lb of stores held internally - and missiles / rockets as well as conventional ordnance held externally (up to 3,800lb).

Performance specs included a maximum speed of 315 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 207 miles per hour, a range out to 5,900 miles and a service ceiling of 25,000 feet.

The aircraft was christened CP-107 "Argus" and succeeded the lines of Avro Lancaster and Lockheed P-2 Neptune aircraft in the same maritime / Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. The Lancaster was a World War 2 veteran and the Neptune emerged in the post-war period. As a maritime patrol platform, the Argus was expected to have excellent range and good over-water qualities. A radome at the chin of the fuselage housed a surface search radar fit.

The initial production model became Argus Mk.1 and this offering was built across thirteen total examples. They carried the American APS-20 radar fit in the chin radome. The mark was followed by twenty examples of the Argus Mk.2 which incorporated the British ASV-21 radar fit instead.

Five RCAF squadrons equipped with the type (Nos. 404, 405, 407, 415 and 449). Additionally, the aircraft was used by the Canadian Forces 405, 407 and 415 patrol squadrons.

The Argus gave excellent service for its time in the air - regarded as one of the best of its kind for the role it was called to fulfill. It soldiered on until July 1981 and saw the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora become its direct successor.


Up to 8,000lb of stores to include torpedoes, depth charges and naval mines. Underwing hardpoints supported up to 3,800lb of air-launched (missile) and conventional drop-ordnance.

Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Variants / Models

• Argus - Base Series Name
• Argus Mk.1 - Original production form outfitted with American APS-20 series radar in chin radome; 13 examples proucred.
• Argus Mk.2 - Outfitted with British ASV-21 series radar in chin radome; 20 examples procured.
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