King Air 350 aircraft

Beechcraft has been awarded a contract modification for supply of contractor logistics support services for the Iraqi Air Force’s (IQAF) Special Mission King Air 350 light transport aircraft fleet.

Awarded at the Paris International Air Show in France, the contract extension seeks the supply of support services by the company’s Global Mission Support (GMS) team over the next two years.

As part of a foreign military sale (FMS) programme, Beechcraft delivered six King Air 350 aircraft, including five King Air 350 extended-range (ER) and one King Air 350, along with fixed and portable ground stations, and training and logistics support to IQAF in 2007 and 2008.

GMS vice president Jay Gibson said the latest contract extension highlights the exceptional value being offered to the air force by the in-country GMS team.

Operating from the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, the 15-member GMS team – comprising supervisors, technicians and maintenance instructors – assists the air force in management of contractor logistics support operations.

Specifically, the team operates a contractor operated maintenance base supply warehouse for delivery of a cost per flight hour model that will ensure predictable and affordable operating costs, and training of maintenance technicians.

An upgraded version of the twin turboprop King Air 350, 350ER is designed to operate between 25,000ft and 35,000ft at a speed of more than 2,000km with a load of up to eight passengers.

Equipped with nacelle fuel tanks and heavy-duty landing gear, the aircraft has an endurance of 12 hours, and is also capable of loitering low and slow or cruising at 300k.

The aircraft are primarily used by the Iraq Air Force in support of border surveillance missions to monitor insurgent activity and patrol vital infrastructure assets.

Image: Iraqi pilots prepare to take off during first sortie in the King Air 350 aircraft. Photo: US Air Force photo by Senior Airman SerMae Lampkin.

Defence Technology