Boeing selected the Bombardier Challenger 605 business jet as the platform for its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) which will offer customers more or less a light version of the advanced new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the company announced.
“The Challenger 605 is an ideal platform to host MSA’s mission system, sensors and communications equipment,” says Tim Peters, Boeing vice president and general manager, Mobility, Surveillance & Engagement. Peters hope to interest those countries which lack the money for the 737 based Poseidon, but like the technology to be used on a smaller jet for anti-piracy, coastal and border security plus long range search and rescue missions.
Boeing teammate Field Aviation will modify the Challenger 605’s structure and air vehicle systems into the MSA configuration. Before that Field Aviation is already modifying a Boeing-owned Challenger 604 jet into an MSA demonstrator aircraft that will complete ground and flight testing of the mission systems and be presented to potential customers in 2014.
Both the US Navy and the Indian Navy now fly the P-8 jet powered anti-submarine and maritime patrol aircraft. In the US the P-8 will slowly replace the aging Lockheed P-3 Orion.