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The 30th and final MC-12 Liberty aircraft was deployed to the US Central Command area of responsibility on 9 July 2010.

USAF Lt Gen David A Deptula said the MC-12W is the fastest weapons system delivered from concept to combat since the P-51 Mustang in World War II.

It has played a key role in the capture of hundreds of insurgents, and the discovery of weapon caches and improvised explosive devices.

The MC-12 fleet has flown over 5,000 combat sorties, and taken more than 22,000 hours of full-motion video and more than 40,000 images to date.

A medium to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft, the MC-12Ws primary mission is to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support directly to the ground forces.

It has been developed on military versions of the Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350 and Super King 350ER, and is equipped with an electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) sensor.

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By GlobalData

The EO/IR sensor includes a laser illuminator and designator, a modified aircraft with sensors, a ground exploitation cell, line-of-sight and satellite communications data links, and a robust voice communications suite.