With four maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) in the static park at this week’s Farnborough Air Show, and much talk about British requirements in the chalets, it might seem that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is about to take action to rectify its most glaring “capability gap.” But British defence procurement minister Philip Dunne told journalists at the show on Wednesday that no decision to reconstitute the capability will be taken until after next year’s strategic defense review.
Boeing P-8 Poseidon
Monday’s announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that the RAF’s Raytheon Sentinel R1 fleet will be extended in service until at least 2018 has breathed new life into the program, and sparked real interest in further development.
One of the key features that could be added is a greater maritime capability. While the RAF is quick to stress that a maritime-capable Sentinel is not a maritime patroller, it could be used as a gap-filler in certain scenarios, and has considerable applications in littoral operations, such as amphibious landings or humanitarian missions.
Canada’s Field Aviation has amassed considerable expertise in the special-mission aircraft design and modification sector. Two examples of its work are on display here at Farnborough (Hall 4 Stand C17-C19), in the form of the Boeing MSA (maritime surveillance aircraft) and a modified nose section for the Viking Twin Otter MRSA.
When Boeing launched the MSA, which is based on the Bombardier Challenger 604 airframe, as a lower-cost alternative to the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, Field Aviation was contracted to undertake the modification.
Apple’s product strategy serves to describe the similarities between the high-end P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft the U.S. Navy uses and the new, smaller maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) being developed for international customers, according to Boeing Defense. Both aircraft are on display here at the Farnborough International Airshow this week.
Australia will order 58 more Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters for $12.4 billion, the government said on April 23. Including jets the country has already ordered, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will be able to field three squadrons of the fifth-generation fighter.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed that his country will buy MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft to operate alongside the eight Boeing P-8A Poseidons it plans to purchase. Abbott announced the Triton acquisition during a March 13 visit to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base at Edinburgh.
Boeing said its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator, a modified Bombardier Challenger 604, completed its first flight on February 28 from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Subcontractor Field Aviation conducted the four-hour test flight.
Boeing has announced the receipt of a new order for its P-8A Poseidon maritime patroller. Worth $2.4 billion, the contract covers 16 new aircraft for the U.S. Navy. Significantly, the order moves the program into full-rate production, earlier aircraft having been ordered on a low-rate initial production (LRIP) basis. A move to full-rate production had been delayed while Boeing proved that the P-8 could meet its 25-year life, plus other mission-related requirements.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced today that the country’s government has approved the purchase of eight Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The first aircraft is scheduled to enter service at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia in 2017, and all eight are due for delivery by 2021. The initial deal is worth AUS$4 billion ($3.59 billion), of which around a quarter will be spent in Australia on aircraft support and base facilities. A further four aircraft are held as options. Australia becomes the second export customer for the Poseidon, following India.
This week’s Singapore Airshow brought only one significant new launch, when Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled the Super Heron UAV. But as usual, there were plenty of defense requirements to discuss. These included Singapore’s desire to upgrade its F-16 fighters, and maritime surveillance requirements around the region.
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