Boeing has announced plans to develop a medium-sized maritime surveillance aircraft based on its larger reconnaissance aircraft such as the P-8 Poseidon.
Boeing offered limited details on its plan, which it unveiled at the Farnborough Airshow, but said the new aircraft would leverage technologies developed for the P-8 and other aircraft and would be based on a ‘super mid-sized business jet’. That would appear to indicate that the aircraft will be built off of another manufacturer’s airframe, an unusual move for Boeing. The P-8 is based on Boeing’s 737 airliner.
Company officials said the new aircraft would not be armed and would not retain the P-8’s anti-submarine capability, but would focus on aerial surveillance and intelligence gathering. Boeing is offering the aircraft to the global market and says it expects the jet to fly by next year. The company projects a potential US$10 billion market for the aircraft.