Boeing revealed here at the show yesterday that it is modifying a Bombardier Challenger business jet to be the prototype of its proposed medium-sized Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA). Without specifying a platform, Boeing revealed the project at Farnborough last year, which downsizes and repackages the systems it has developed for the P-8 Poseidon and the 737 AEW&C aircraft onto a midsize jet.
In fact, the Challenger is not the ultimate choice for the MSA, said Jeff Kohler, vice-president international business development, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “But we wanted to get started on integration, so we’ve taken an aircraft from our own corporate fleet. It should fly this year.” Kohler said that no formal agreement to use a larger Bombardier jet for the definitive MSA had been signed, but the Canadian company is the favored option.