Business jet manufacturer Bombardier has partnered with defense contractor General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada to develop a multi-mission/anti-submarine warfare aircraft based on the Global 6500 business jet. Bombardier’s Global family is a proven platform for a number of special-mission applications, notably the Global 6000-based Saab GlobalEye airborne early warning aircraft. GDMS-Canada is a leader in the submarine hunting and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) field.
The two companies have formed the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) Team to produce an aircraft intended for export and domestic use. In terms of the latter, the team is calling on the Canadian government to open a fair and competitive procurement for the requirement to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Lockheed CP-140 Aurora fleet of maritime patrol aircraft, which are due to be replaced in the early 2030s. Canada has already lodged a letter of request (LOR) with the U.S. concerning the acquisition of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon.
While the LOR does not tie Canada into buying the P-8, it does signify some intention. An accompanying statement noted, “The government has determined that the P-8A Poseidon is the only currently available aircraft that meets all of the CMMA operational requirements.” Bombardier (Booth K40, Static AD_09) and GDMS-Canada are challenging that assertion, as well as suggesting that the size, performance, and operating costs of the Global 6500 offering are better suited to Canadian requirements, while also providing a much greater boost to Canada’s industry.
“Canadians deserve a leading-edge fleet for their Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft program,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, the executive v-p of aircraft sales and Bombardier Defense. “Bombardier is eager to take on this opportunity to deliver a state-of-the-art platform. This is a generational opportunity for a Canadian company to leverage its made-In-Canada Global 6500 aircraft, renowned for their outstanding performance and customized mission enhancers for each client. Having Bombardier work on CMMA is the right choice from an aircraft performance standpoint and, also, is an opportunity for Canada to foster innovation, bolster its capabilities, and support talent across Canada’s aerospace industry from coast to coast.”
The CMMA team’s proposal is based on GDMS-Canada’s integrated mission system, which draws on investments already made in the RCAF’s CP-140 Block IV upgrade program and CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. The adapted Global 6500 would carry weapons such as the AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile on four under-wing hardpoints and features a ventral bay for stores such as sonobuoys in a bulged fairing.
At least two other companies have proposed maritime patrol adaptations of the Global 6000/6500. Saab previously offered a Global 6000-based aircraft known as the Swordfish, while PAL unveiled its P-6 Global 6500-based proposal at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi in February.