The Department of National Defence (DND), Canadian government department responsible for defending Canada’s interests and values at home and abroad, has confirmed plans to procure the three new Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft to support Special Operations Forces.
According to the statement by the DND, Special Operations Forces will receive the new spy planes based on the Beechcraft King Air 350ER platform.
“The aircraft will be configured with military grade advanced sensors, and secure communications equipment. MAISR will have the capacity to be deployed on short notice and will provide the Canadian Armed Forces with better situational awareness on the ground and thus positively affect the ability of commanders to make decisions leading to mission success,” said Jessica Lamirande, a spokesperson for the DND.
The Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft are brought through the US Foreign Military Sales programme.
It’s expected to take up to 12 months to put the foreign military sale agreement in place, and DND does not have a timeframe for aircraft delivery or their entry into service, said Lamirande.
The Beechcraft King Air 350ER as a platform to create new special aircraft for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, because it is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft with excellent flying characteristics. The new spy planes will provide full-motion video and signals intelligence to assist battlefield commanders.