Thursday, September 29, 2022

U.S. Army receives new surveillance plane

The U.S. privately held Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced that it recently delivered the seventh fully integrated Mission Enhancement Kit (MEK) aircraft to the U.S. Army, adding enhanced capabilities to the Army’s Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS) fleet.

“SNC’s Mission Enhancement Kit is truly a game-changer, offering increased safety, performance and mission capability for aircraft operating in high-altitude areas,” said Tim Owings, executive vice president of SNC’s Mission Solutions and Technologies business area. “We are very proud to continue supporting the Army and its mission with this work.”

According to a company news release, the King Air 350 MEK reduces aircraft weight, increases engine performance and significantly reduces the overall sound signature to enhance its stealth capabilities.


SNC modifies the aircraft to increase time aloft and allow for increased operating weight without greater take-off risk. It also enables operations on shorter runways, making the aircraft more suitable for a wider variety of operational environments. This provides customers with versatile multi-mission and special mission capabilities, increased aircraft performance and safety.

As a prime systems integrator, SNC has more than 15 years of King Air modification and integration heritage, leveraging 800,000+ hours of operational experience on special mission platforms for a wide array of government and military customers.

The Army has procured 16 kits to date and SNC expects to deliver two additional MEK integrated aircraft this year. SNC will continue to perform work covered by this contract from its facilities in Hagerstown, Maryland.

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About this Author

Colton Jones
Colton Jones is technology editor for Defenсe Blog. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere.