L3 expect to launch multi-mission aircraft at Farnborough air show
Sources close to L3 Mission Integration have told MONS that the company expects to exhibit its Bombardier Q400 turboprop transport Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) at this year’s Farnborough air show to be held in the southwest of England between 21st and 22nd July.
The company launched the Q400MMA programme in August 2013, promoting the platform as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset which would carry an array of sensors including optronics systems which could be employed for a variety of missions ranging from maritime surveillance to over-land reconnaissance. The baseline Q400 design has been modified to enable it to carry 4,540 kilograms (10,000 pounds) of additional fuel. Other aircraft modifications include the addition of an internal weapons bay to allow the aircraft to deploy torpedoes to support the anti-submarine mission, and potentially anti-ship missiles.
In terms of other aircraft systems, L3 has added the mission management architecture equipping a large number of the global Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) fleet. Previous reports have stated that L3 would promote the Q400MMA to existing European P-3C Orion operators, with the aircraft also being promoted to the Royal Air Force as a replacement for its Hawker Siddeley/BAE Systems Nimrod-MR4A maritime patrol aircraft, a requirement since satisfied by the acquisition of nine Boeing P-8 family MPAs announced in 2016.