US looks for 22 AC-208 armed ISR aircraft for allies

The United States is procuring 22 AC-208 lightly armed Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft for its allies. In line with this requirement, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance and Special Operations Forces (ISR/SOF) Sensors, Foreign Military Sales, (AFLCMC/WINI) “is conducting Market Research to identify potential sources who may provide the information detailed in this Sources Sought Synopsis (SSS).”

In sources sought notice released March 23, AFLCMC/WINI Sensor’s Program Office said “the solution shall be comprised of a new Cessna Grand Caravan EX (Model 208B).”

It added that the aircraft should be modified with integrating exportable and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliant versions of WESCAM MX-15D EO/IR Sensor, Harris RF-7800M-MP Multiband Radio, Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), EO/IR image down-link system (in real-time) to tactical ground-based operational interfaces, and Mission system control/display/recording/processing node with post mission recorded data transfer to ground node capability.

“The United States Government (USG) will use this Market Research information to determine the best future acquisition strategy for this procurement in order to meet the customer requirements and delivery schedule,” it noted.

Countries receiving the 22 AC-208 lightly armed ISR aircraft were not specified.

In July 2017, the US government transferred 2 Cessna 208B Grand Caravan unarmed ISR aircraft to the Philippine Air Force through the US National Defense Authorization Act Building Partnership Capacity Program to provide equipment and training to improve Philippines’ counterterrorism response capability.