Special Missions Cessna Grand Caravan EX fleet in Africa grows in support of U.S. African Partnership Flight initiative
WICHITA, Kan. (Aug. 11, 2020) – Textron Aviation today announced it was awarded a contract by ATI Engineering Services, LLC for two multi-mission Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) in support of the African Partnership Flight initiative. This will be the first fixed-wing aircraft to be put in service by the RDF. The aircraft, which are anticipated to enter service during the first half of 2021, will primarily be based in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc. a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
This African Partnership Flight initiative brings together a series of collaborative engagements between African nations to strengthen U.S. strategic partnerships with key countries in Africa, exchange ideas on aviation-related topics, and enhance regional cooperation and interoperability.
“The Grand Caravan EX serves an enduring mission by providing transport, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation operations throughout Africa,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “The aircraft is engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. It is a perfect match for this mission throughout the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility.”
ATI Engineering Services will modify and equip the RDF’s Grand Caravan EX aircraft with secure HF (High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio systems, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) interior and exterior lighting, and a reconfigurable multi-mission interior featuring two ambulatory medical stretcher kits, 11 passenger seats, eight collapsible utility seats and a removable rollerball cargo floor.
The U.S. Government has previously provided grant aid funding for 14 Grand Caravan EX aircraft procured through Foreign Military Sale cases throughout Africa, with Rwanda being the latest recipient. AFRICOM's intent is to field multiple iterations of this configuration throughout Africa, and to streamline logistics support and enhance partner nation interoperability, both of which will reduce costs to the partner nation and to the U.S. Government.
AFRICOM’s African partners who already possess Grand Caravan EX aircraft include Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Kenya and Uganda. These countries are co-participants in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, particularly in missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Increasing commonality of equipment, such as the Grand Caravan EX, serves as a focal point to substantially increase interoperability in operations, maintenance, supply support and planning.
About the Cessna Grand Caravan EX
The Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft is known for its dependable and efficient performance by regional airlines, charter operators and cargo carriers worldwide. The Grand Caravan EX turboprop was engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity.
Endless Special Missions Possibilities
When government, military and commercial customers want airborne solutions for critical missions, they turn to Textron Aviation. The company’s aviation solutions provide the high performance and flight characteristics required to address the unique challenges of special missions operations. With unparalleled quality, versatility and low operating costs, Textron Aviation products are preferred for air ambulance, ISR, utility transport, aerial survey, flight inspection, training and a number of other special operations.
About Textron Aviation
We inspire the journey of flight. For more than 90 years, Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has empowered our collective talent across the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands to design and deliver the best aviation experience for our customers. With a range that includes everything from business jets, turboprops, and high-performance pistons, to special mission, military trainer and defense products, Textron Aviation has the most versatile and comprehensive aviation product portfolio in the world and a workforce that has produced more than half of all general aviation aircraft worldwide. Customers in more than 170 countries rely on our legendary performance, reliability and versatility, along with our trusted global customer service network, for affordable, productive and flexible flight.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com
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