Sea surveillance from the sky

Boeing tests Maritime Surveillance Aircraft.
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 US aircraft manufacturer Boeing is testing a new plane which it says will provide low-risk and cost-effective maritime surveillance solutions.

Boeing says its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft demonstrator has completed its first flight to verify airworthiness, an aircraft designed for search and rescue, anti-piracy patrols and coastal and border security.

Boeing teammate Field Aviation conducted the successful testing during a four hour flight from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Field Aviation modified the Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft’s structures and systems into the MSA configuration.

“We accomplished everything we set out to achieve,” Field Aviation pilot Craig Tylski said.

“The aerodynamic performance was right on the money and even with the additional aerodynamic shapes, such as the radome, the demonstrator performed like a normal aircraft. The control and handling were excellent.”

Additional airworthiness flights are scheduled for the next two months. Once they are complete, the aircraft will fly to a Boeing facility in Seattle where the MSA mission systems will be installed and tested.

MSA uses proven technologies developed for Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon program to provide multi-mission surveillance capabilities. The baseline configuration features an Active Electronically Scanned Array multi-mode radar, an Electro/Optical/Infrared sensor, Electronic Support Measures, a Communications Intelligence sensor and Automated Identification System.

Boeing achieved first flight of the MSA demonstrator on an accelerated schedule due to rapid prototyping and lean manufacturing techniques by Boeing Phantom Works, the company’s advanced technology organization, working closely with industry teammates.

Boeing has selected the Challenger 605 business jet as the MSA platform and will leverage Field Aviation’s engineering and modification experience with the Challenger family of aircraft to modify the jet.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specialising in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 58,000 employees worldwide.

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