L-3 to convert Cessna Caravan single-engine turboprop aircraft to surveillance platforms
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 11 May 2016. U.S. Air Force airborne surveillance experts are working with L-3 Communications Corp. to convert Cessna light single-engine turboprop aircraft to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms.
Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, announced a $14.2 million contract this week to the L-3 Communication Systems West segment in Salt Lake City for the Cessna 208B ISR program.
The contract, which involves counter-terrorism partnership money, will produce ISR-capable Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft for Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and the Philippines under the foreign military sales program.
The Cessna 208 Caravan is a single-engined turboprop with fixed-tricycle landing gear built by the Cessna Aircraft Co. in Wichita, Kan. The plane can carry a pilot and as many as 14 passengers for short-haul regional airline and utility aircraft applications.
The Cessna 208B ISR variant carries an electro-optical sensor pod and other surveillance equipment. Some military variants of the Cessna 208 also can carry Hellfire missiles for ground-attack missions.
The Cessna 208B is nearly 42 feet long with a 52-foot wingspan. It can carry more than two tons of passengers, fuel, cargo, and other payloads. The plan has a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 turboprop engine that can carry the aircraft at speeds to 185 knots and altitudes to 25,000 feet. It has Garmin G1000 avionics with GFC700 integrated digital automatic flight control system.
On this contract L-3 Communication Systems West will do the work in Salt Lake City, and should be finished by September 2017. For more information contact L-3 Communication Systems West online at www2.l-3com.com/csw, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.wpafb.af.mil/aflcmc.