Lebanon and Iraq increase Combat Caravan fleet
Alliant Techsystems is to delever a second Combat Caravan to Lebanon next year following an order from the US Air Force. The American company recently delivered a third AC-208B to the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission in Kirkuk.
The Combat Caravan aircraft is a specially modified Cessna Grand Caravan that incorporates an electro-optical targeting system with integrated laser designator, Hellfire laser guided missiles, an air-to-ground and air-to-air data link and aircraft self-protection equipment. ATK's STAR Mission System provides both day and night reconnaissance and fire control capabilities for the mission crew.
Flightglobal reported that the Lebanese purchase was funded by the US as part of an agreement to carry out operations against insurgent forces.
"ATK delivers cost-effective, integrated platform solutions, across a variety of mission areas, at a fraction of traditional cost and timelines," said Bill Kasting, Vice President and General Manager of ATK's Integrated Systems Division. "ATK's Combat Caravan builds upon our successful reconnaissance version of the C-208 aircraft, by providing a robust and versatile light-attack capability."
The aircraft has already been proving effective in Iraq. The Combat Caravan program was awarded to ATK in 2008. Within 11 months, ATK completed live fire testing and delivered its first aircraft to Iraq. The aircraft holds both a Military and Civil Certification.
The Combat Caravan is part of ATK's Special Mission Aircraft product portfolio. The Special Mission Aircraft business provides operationally responsive Intelligence, Surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities by outfitting various aircraft -- including Lockheed Martin C-130s, Bombardier Dash-8s, Hawker Beechcraft King Airs, Cessna Caravans and others-- with networked sensors and weapons that offer affordable, flexible and rapid fielding of capability.