Boeing announced last Tuesday that they are planning to develop a medium-sized Maritime Security Aircraft, reports Michael Hoffman at DOD Buzz.
Upon completion, the aircraft could be used in missions to battle piracy, assist in coastal and border surveillance, enforce economic exclusion zones, and guard against illegal immigrants.
Egan Greenstein, a senior Boeing manager, said that Boeing Engineers will take the various systems from the P-8 Poseidon and install them in a medium-sized business aircraft to construct the new plane.
Company officials describe the new aircraft as a mini-Poseidon without submarine hunting capabilities.
Boeing is making the maritime plane a reconnaissance-only aircraft that can relay information to attack helicopters or other armed aircraft.
Due to the elimination of the anti-submarine and weapons feature, the crew requirement for the maritime security aircraft will be reduced to three.
The Seattle, Wa. based aerospace firm may try to contract another company to build the spy plane, although it is currently using its own funds to develop the aircraft.
Greenstein didn’t share details about who they are currently negotiating with but did say that an announcement will be released before the end of the year.
Boeing executives said that they are creating the aircraft to meet the demand for an affordable maritime security aircraft in the international market.
Target clients may be in Asia or the Middle East as the U.S. may opt to purchase existing aircraft models, Hoffman writes.
Boeing recently completed a deal for the U.S. Navy to acquire 13 P-8 Poseidon anti-sub spy planes and is developing a modified E-3 Sentry with airborne early warning and control system for the U.S. Air Force.
Fred Smith, Boeing’s director of Navy and Marine Corps business development for surveillance and engagement, said that maritime surveillance aircraft is going to be a $10 billion market within the next decade.