The U.S. Air Force has agreed to buy four Cessna Caravans in a $12.4 million contract that further cements the 208's reputation as a versatile and rugged multi-role aircraft.
The deal, which includes training for 16 pilots and 14 maintainers to be conducted at Cessna’s Wichita facilities, stems from the Special Defense Acquisition Fund, set up to allow for the transfer of aircraft and services to international allies.
Cessna 208B Caravans have proven a popular trainer in various areas throughout the world, including both Iraq and Afghanistan, where the aircraft’s 675 shp turboprop engine meets the demands of the country’s high-altitude terrain well. Iraq has even used some of the aircraft for reconnaissance missions and as attack vehicles after outfitting them with Hellfire missiles.
The new contract, to be fulfilled by November 2013, follows a July 2011 deal won by Cessna that included the sale of 26 Caravans slated for Afghanistan.