The US Department of Defense (DoD) has approved a foreign military sale (FMS) of Cessna C-208B Caravan intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to support the Afghanistan Training Programme.
Under the terms of the $55m agreement, Cessna Aircraft will supply 18 C-208 B aircraft and one C-208 aircrew training device, including maintenance and training.
The C-208B Caravan is a militarised version of the Cessna 208 Caravan passenger and utility aircraft, and features a more powerful PT6A-114A engine, and electro optical sensors and defensive countermeasures.
Work under the contract will be carried out at Kabul Air Base and Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan.
Delivery under the contract is scheduled to be completed by 31 July 2017.
The deal is part of the country’s efforts to enhance military capabilities in order to combat the Taliban militants.
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Last week, Afghan Air Force (AAF) received four A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft from the US Air Force as part of the A-29 programme aimed at training the Afghan pilots in employing weapon system and defending the country from insurgents.
The country will also receive a new batch of 12 MD 530F helicopters equipped with enhanced mission equipment.
The AAF received the first 12 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters last year and currently operates a fleet of 16 MD 530F choppers.
India had also supplied four Mi-25 gunship helicopters to AAF.
Image: Iraq Air Force and Lebanese Air Force operate C-208 B aircraft. Photo: Wikipedia.