Orbital ATK Awarded Afghan Air Force Armed ISR Cessna AC-208 Contract

One of the Afghan Air Force’s (AAF’s) existing, unarmed Cessna 208B Grand Caravans, YA22413, at Kabul, International Airport, Afghanistan, on February 13, 2014. Under a newly-awarded contract, Orbital ATK will supply the AAF with seven armed ISR AC-208 variants. US Air Force/Tech Sgt Jason Robertson

ORBITAL ATK has been awarded an $86,402,055 firm-fixed-price, undefinitized sole-source contract for the Afghan Air Force (AAF) Cessna AC-208 armed intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft requirement.  The pseudo Foreign Military Sales deal was awarded on March 8 by the US Air Force’s 645th Aeronautical Systems Group (645 AESG) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

An initial $42,337,007 from fiscal year 2017 Afghan security forces funds was released at the time of the award.  Work will be performed at Orbital ATK’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be complete by June 9, 2019.

As previously reported on Warnsey’s World, plans to award Orbital ATK this contract had been revealed in a notice posted on the US Federal Business Opportunities website on December 27 last year.  This stated that the deal would involve procurement, modification and delivery of seven Cessna 208B Grand Caravan to the AAF in an armed ISR configuration.

The AAF has previously received 26 Cessna 208Bs, deliveries of which began in October 2011 and were completed in December 2012, but these are all unarmed versions used in the cargo, utility and training roles.  Orbital ATK’s armed version, previously known as the AC-208 Combat Caravan, is now marketed as the AC-208 Eliminator.  It can carry AGM-114 Hellfire missiles (two on each wing on dual rails) and 2.75in APKWS, GATR or other guided rockets in wing pods.