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LONDON — L-3 Communications, Selex ES and Ultra Electronics have partnered to offer Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop airliner as the platform to meet an expected requirement for a multi-mission aircraft for the U.K.
The aircraft would be highly modified with extended-range fuel tanks and an under-fuselage canoe fairing that could be configured to carry a wide-area surveillance sensor or even weaponry to meet a range of tasks such as maritime patrol, overland surveillance or anti-submarine warfare.
The move comes as U.K. defense officials plan to deliver the results of a study on the country’s future intelligence gathering capability this summer and there is a widely-expected push to resurrect a maritime patrol capability in next year’s Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) following the decision to halt the introduction of the BAE Nimrod MRA4 back in 2010.