L3Harris to modify three Canadian King Air 350ER aircraft

3 November 2020 (Last Updated November 3rd, 2020 11:09)

The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has awarded a contract to L3Harris Technologies to modify three Beechcraft King Air 350ER (extended range) aircraft.

L3Harris to modify three Canadian King Air 350ER aircraft
Rendering of the King Air 350 extended range aircraft for Canadian Department of National Defence. Credit: L3Harris Technologies, Inc.

The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has awarded a contract to L3Harris Technologies to modify three Beechcraft King Air 350ER (extended range) aircraft.

The aircraft are being procured for the Canadian manned airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (CMAISR) project. They will be used by the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command.

The acquisition of aircraft and delivery of mission equipment are being carried out through the US foreign military sales (FMS) programme.

The US Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation Fixed Wing Project Office is managing the FMS programme.

Under the firm-fixed price contract, L3Harris will deliver capability upgrades such as full-motion video sensors, a mission management system and communication datalinks to the aircraft for conducting ISR operations.

Aircraft modification will also include the integration of secure communications and navigation systems, sensors, as well as pilot, operator and maintenance training.

These L3Harris systems will provide enhanced threat indications and warning, as well as allow detection and location of the target with high accuracy.

L3Harris Integrated Mission Systems president Sean Stackley said: “Our L3Harris team is ready to combine our ISR, missionisation and modification solutions to deliver a system that will enhance the capabilities and security of Canada and its allies.

“L3Harris has the distinction of successfully delivering more certified, special mission King Airs on-time and on-budget than any other contractor in the world, and we look forward to maintaining that tradition.”

Work under the contract will be conducted at L3Harris’ facility in Greenville, Texas. The Mirabel (Quebec) facility in Canada will also support the activities.

In October 2018, the US State Department approved the estimated $300m FMS of the three aircraft and associated mission systems to Canada. Textron Aviation is serving as the principal contractor.

Canada anticipates taking delivery and fully integrating the aircraft in 2022.

Last month, L3Harris Technologies won a contract worth $193m from the Space Development Agency (SDA) for the development and integration of an end-to-end satellite system.