Boeing has entered a surprise candidate for the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) competition. Even as two rival bids are entering High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Boeing proposes to adapt the Gulfstream G550 to fly manned or unmanned missions.
Boeing's innovative entry is being backed by Raytheon, which proposes to offer a active-array maritime surveillance radar that will use software modes from the proven APS-137 Forward Looking Airborne Radar, and its derivative. The APS-137 is due to fly on the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
The BAMS programme is the US Navy's attempt to supplement the P-8 Poseidon's coverage with HALE UAVs in order to provide 24/7 coverage of broad ocean areas.
As for other competitors, Northrop Grumman proposes a system that uses the Global Hawk UAV as the platform for BAMS coverage. Lockheed Martin and General Atomics have teamed up to offer the latter's Predator B as an alternative, lower-cost HALE UAV platform.