Boeing Maritime Aircraft To Make Air Tattoo Splash
Published: 11 Jun 2015
The Royal International Air Tattoo 2015 static display will see the exhibition of two maritime aircraft from Boeing: a US Navy P-8A Poseidon long-range multi-mission platform, and the manufacturer's Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator, based on the Bombardier Challenger 604 business jet.
For the second year running, the P-8A at the show will be provided by air test and evaluation squadron VX-1 'Pioneers' from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Based on the commercial Boeing 737-800 airframe, the Poseidon is replacing the US Navy's long-serving P-3 Orion in the anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles, incorporating some very advanced sensor equipment. It first flew in April 2009, and the initial delivery of a production example to the US Navy took place just under three years later. Already the P-8A is in service with operational units, and the type has been deployed several times. The Indian Navy is introducing the P-8I derivative, while Australia has ordered eight Poseidons with options for four more.
In addition, new to the Air Tattoo this year will be Boeing's Maritime Surveillance Aircraft. Using as its platform the proven Bombardier Challenger, the aircraft was announced by Boeing during late 2013 and the demonstrator, a Challenger 604 modified by Field Aviation in Toronto, carried out its maiden flight in February 2014.
Production examples, which would also be converted by Field, will be based on the Challenger 605. The MSA makes use of on-board systems proven in the P-8A, but not that aircraft's weapons or anti-submarine capabilities. The result is a smaller, more affordable platform for the anti-piracy, coastal and border security and long-range search and rescue roles. Like the Poseidon, it can also be used for over-land surveillance.