Orbital ATK has won $86 million worth contract to fulfill requirements for the Afghanistan air force's AC-208 armed intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
“Orbital ATK, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded an $86,402,055 firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract action for the Afghanistan Air Force AC-208 armed intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft requirement,” the Department of Defense announced Thursday.
The AC-208 Combat Caravan is an armed ISR platform based off the Cessna 208 Caravan light passenger and transport plane. It is a single engine turboprop designed specifically for counterinsurgency operations.
The aircraft can be armed with laser-guided Hellfire missiles and carries it's own laser designator targeting pod. It has a fully integrated digital mission system, AAR-47/ALE-47 Defensive Countermeasures System, and radio data links. It also has ballistic panels for the cockpit and passenger areas for protection against ground small arms fire.
The contract falls under pseudo foreign military sales requirement which is not signed by the receiving nation but serves to document the eventual delivery of the systems under the contract. The work will be conducted in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed by June 9, 2019.
This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2017 Afghan security forces funds in the amount of $42,337,007 are being obligated at the time of award, the statement added.
The US forces in Afghanistan have redeployed a squadron of 12 A-10 ‘Warthog ground attack aircraft, to ramp up military operations against ‘Daesh militant group. The Warthogs, armed with a 30 mm cannon and known for their ability to fly low and slow, can provide air support while undertaking counterterrorism missions and targeting Taliban narcotics production facilities, the US military said in a statement on Tuesday
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