Boeing remains in protracted talks with Bombardier to provide a platform for its small Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) concept, which is being marketed outside the U.S.

Boeing has repeatedly said since the Farnborough air show last July that it would select and announce its partner soon, a milestone that slipped repeatedly.

The MSA is intended to build on the mission systems developed for the U.S. Navy’s P-8, but size them on a platform more suitable for militaries that cannot afford such a large option. The P-8 is based on Boeing’s 737 airliner.

Boeing has already begun integration of mission systems on a Bombardier 605 as a testbed, says Jeff Kohler, vice president of international relations. This aircraft was a test article owned by Boeing. Kohler said. The aircraft was set to be sold, but Boeing’s defense unit secured it for MSA testing.

“We are … at the endgame,” Kohler told reporters at a roundtable hosted in advance of the Paris air show, which starts today at Le Bourget. “But we are keeping our options open.” Kohler indicated the company is committed to Bombardier, but that options are in place if the talks fall through.

The demonstration aircraft is expected to fly this year.

A deal on super-midsize platform selection is, once again, expected to be announced soon.