Iraq Air Force in talks for renewed support contract for AC208 fleet
The Iraq Air Force has been in talks with American firms Flight Safety International and Orbital ATK to ensure that the Iraqi squadron utilizing the military version of the Cessna Caravan can become self sufficient in its maintenance and operation of the aircraft.
The AC-208 Combat Caravan is a light attack combat aircraft manufactured by the US-based aerospace and defence company Alliant Techsystems (ATK). It is derived from the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan aircraft.
ATK developed a combat variant of the Cessna 208 by incorporating intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance features. It is armed with Hellfire missiles. Other upgrades over the basic Cessna Grand Caravan include an electro-optical targeting system with an integrated laser designator, air-to-ground and air-to-air data link and self-protection equipment.
The US State Department has given approval for a possible sale to IRaq for sustainment, logistics, and spares support. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on 14 June.
Iraq has requested a five-year sustainment package for ithe AC/RC-208 fleet that includes: operational, intermediate, and depot-level maintenance; spare parts; component repair; publication updates; maintenance training; and logistics. The total overall estimated value is $181 million.
This will allow the Iraqi Air Force to continue to operate its fleet of eight C-208 light attack and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft beyond the existing support contract which ends this month. Ultimately, the goal is for the IRaqi Air Force to become self-sufficient in maintenance and logistics training.