Canadian Manufacturing

[VIDEO] Boeing to use Bombardier business jet for next spy plane

Challenger 605 to be used as platform for aerospace and defence giant's maritime surveillance program

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DUBAI—Boeing Co. has pegged Bombardier Inc.’s Challenger 605 business jet as the platform for its maritime surveillance (MSA) program, the aerospace and defence giant announced in Dubai.

Announced at the Dubai Air Show, the partnership between the Canadian and American firms will see Boeing build low-cost surveillance planes based on modified versions of Bombardier’s popular Challenger 605 model.

“The Challenger 605 is an ideal platform to host MSA’s mission system, sensors and communications equipment,” Boeing vice-president Tim Peters said in announcing the deal in Dubai.

“It also provides the power, payload capacity, range, speed and endurance that our customers tell us they need for missions.”

According to Peters, the MSA Challenger 605 would be used for anti-piracy missions, as well as coastal and border security, and long-range search and rescue.

The new aircraft will be based on Boeing’s P-8A mission system technology, which uses the Chicago-based firm’s much larger 737 passenger jet as a platform.

According to Boeing, work on the structure and air vehicle systems for the new MSA Challenger will be contracted out to the aircraft modification experts at Field Aviation.

“Field Aviation has extensive experience engineering and modifying the Challenger family of aircraft for a variety of missions, including maritime surveillance,” Peters said.

Field Aviation is currently modifying a Boeing-owned Challenger 604 jet into an MSA demonstrator aircraft that will complete ground and flight testing of the new mission systems.

It will be ready in 2014.

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