Boeing teases at Farnborough with vague offer of medium-sized maritime surveillance aircraft for global export

FARNBOROUGH, England, 11 July 2012. Officials of the Boeing Co. in Seattle claim they are ready to offer the future medium-sized Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for international oceanic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The problem now is Boeing is not disclosing the type of aircraft that will house the MMA's surveillance equipment. Boeing introduced the MMA concept Tuesday at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England.

Despite lack of an actual aircraft, Boeing officials say the future aircraft will blend technologies the company developed for the U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft based on the twin-engine 737-800 airliner, as well as the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) radar surveillance aircraft.

"We've selected a preferred aircraft and are in discussions with a manufacturer about supplying and modifying their aircraft," says Tim Peters, vice president and general manager of the Surveillance and Engagement segment of the Boeing Defense, Space & Security division in Seattle. "We hope to have an announcement on that element by the end of this year."

The future MSA design will blend sensor capabilities in radar, electro-optics, and electronic warfare, Boeing officials say, adding the future export maritime surveillance aircraft will have a proven open-architecture design.

The MSA aircraft will be for several kinds of ISR missions, including anti-piracy, immigration patrols, economic exclusion zone enforcement, coastal and border security, and long-range search and rescue. The maritime surveillance market will be worth more than $10 billion over the next 10 years, Boeing analysts say.

For more information contact Boeing Surveillance and Engagement online at, or the Farnborough International Airshow at Also follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence daily Farnborough show coverage online at

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