Textron Aviation has delivered a Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft equipped with multiple special mission modifications to Japcon.
The aircraft received a removable, belly mounted Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) installation, forward executive cabin, as well as communications equipment and racks.
The King Air 350i aircraft will undergo further modifications in Japan, including a medical configuration.
The aircraft will be owned and operated by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF).
It will enter service as a liaison/reconnaissance (LR-2) aircraft, which is the JGSDF’s only fleet of fixed-wing aircraft.
Textron Aviation Special Mission Sales vice-president Bob Gibbs said: “We are honoured to expand our relationship with the JGSDF.
“This aircraft will join a fleet of seven other LR-2 King Air 350 turboprops, which has provided reliable service for more than 20 years.”
The LR-2 provides transportation service between airfields across Japan.
In addition to a reconnaissance camera, the new LR-2 aircraft features devices for video transmission and infrared (IR) night-vision.
These video transmission features allow the aircraft to enhance its capacity in gathering visual information.
Gibbs added: “The LR-2 fleet has been serving an enduring mission by providing transport, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation operations in Japan.
“When the JGSDF needed a modern aircraft with low direct operating costs, it again chose the Beechcraft King Air 350 platform.”
The LR-2 aircraft will be operated by the JGSDF Communication and Reconnaissance Squadron Renraku Teisatsu Hikotai, based at Kisarazu Airfield in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture.