The MMA's predecessor, the Lockheed P-3 Orion ASW aircraft has been in service with the U.S. Navy since 1961
WASHINGTON, DC- The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Fiscal Year 2007 Military Quality of Life Appropriations bill that contains important funding important for the Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft program at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
"This project highlights the impressive capabilities of Pax River, including its critical role in helping our nation meet the threats and challenges of a new century," Hoyer said. "As we continue to fight the global war on terror, this funding capitalizes on the advanced and innovative work at Pax River by entrusting our very capable engineers with the development, testing and life cycle support of another of our nation's most advanced naval aircraft programs."
"MMA is both important to our state's economy and will keep Pax at the forefront of naval aviation testing by increasing the safety and efficiency of our naval operations," Hoyer added.
Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA), $16.3 Million
This funding will be used to construct a facility to support the MMA program, the U.S. Navy's next generation maritime surveillance aircraft. It will provide key anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and will focus on developing a system that will significantly transform how the Navy's maritime patrol and reconnaissance force will man, train, operate and deploy. Ultimately, the MMA will replace the U.S. Navy's aging fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft, which has been an active program at Pax since the late 1950s, thereby securing the Navy's future in long-range maritime patrol and Pax's expertise in this program for the next several decades.
The MMA is intended to search for and destroy submarines, conduct shipping interdiction, and also possibly engage in intelligence and other surveillance missions. MMA offers a modern, highly reliable airframe which will be equipped with improved maritime surveillance and attack capability, allowing a smaller force to provide world-wide responsiveness while potentially on a smaller support infrastructure. The aircraft will carry torpedoes, depth charges, harpoon anti-shipping missiles, and other weapons. It will also be able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. Finally, it is expected to operate in conjunction with unmanned aerial vehicles to coordinate battlefield intelligence sharing.
More information on the Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimission_Maritime_Aircraft .