The Tunisian Air Force is to add four Cessna Grand Caravan EX utility aircraft to its fleet to bolster intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

Textron Aviation, the manufacturer of Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft, has secured a contract from ATI Engineering Services to deliver the utility airplanes.

As agreed, ATI Engineering Services will equip the aircraft with an electro-optical/infrared sensor, tactical radio, operator console, video data link and night-vision compatible lighting to meet requirements.

Textron Aviation Special Mission Sales vice-president Bob Gibbs said: “The fleet of Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprops will aid the Tunisian Air Force in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the country.

“The aircraft is engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, unimproved runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. It is a perfect match for this mission throughout Africa.”

According to Cessna’s website, the Grand Caravan EX has a maximum range of 912 nautical miles and can travel at a speed of up to 185ktas. More than 2,900 units have already been delivered clocking a total of nearly 24 million flight hours.

The US Government has supported the transfer of 16 Grand Caravan EX aircraft throughout Africa through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) process since 2014.

Tunisia is set to become the latest recipient of the aeroplane.

Headquartered in Rhode Island, US, Textron is a multi-industry company with operations in several sectors.

Last month, another Textron unit Bell Textron started AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopter production for the Czech Republic Air Force.