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For immediate release: January 26, 2009

MDA's surveillance service operation begins in Afghanistan

Richmond, B.C. - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that MDA conducted its first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight in Afghanistan on January 1, 2009. Flight operations are now underway from the Kandahar Airfield for the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND). The service will support Canadian troops by providing critically important intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information directly to commanders and front line soldiers in real time.

In August, DND awarded the contract to MDA for a long endurance UAV surveillance solution to support the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. Only five months later, this service is operational in Kandahar, Afghanistan and fulfills a recommendation made by the Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan led by the Honourable John Manley.

David Hargreaves, a vice president within MDA’s Information Systems group, said: ‘This key milestone demonstrates MDA's ability to rapidly bring very sophisticated, cost effective surveillance services that will improve safety for Canada and NATO and significantly improve operational results.’

About MDA

MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.

Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of information solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored information services, to electronic information products.

MDA employs more than 3,300 people in locations across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.

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Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. with respect to future events and financial performance. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and MDA's actual results of operations could differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Additional information on these and other potential factors that could affect MDA's financial results are detailed in documents filed from time to time with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.

For more information, please contact:

Wendy Keyzer
MDA External Relations
Telephone: 604-231-2743

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