Textron Aviation announced it was awarded a contract by ATI Engineering Services, LLC for two multi-mission Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) in support of the African Partnership Flight initiative. This will be the first fixed-wing aircraft to be put in service by the RDF. The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc. a Textron Inc. company. This African Partnership Flight initiative brings together a series of collaborative engagements between African nations to strengthen U.S. strategic partnerships with key countries in Africa, exchange ideas on aviation-related topics, and enhance regional cooperation and interoperability.The aircraft, which are anticipated to enter service during the first half of 2021, will primarily be based in Kigali, Rwanda.
ATI Engineering Services will modify and equip the RDF’s Grand Caravan EX aircraft with secure HF (High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio systems, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) interior and exterior lighting, and a reconfigurable multi-mission interior featuring two ambulatory medical stretcher kits, 11 passenger seats, eight collapsible utility seats and a removable rollerball cargo floor. The U.S. Government has previously provided grant aid funding for 14 Grand Caravan EX aircraft procured through Foreign Military Sale cases throughout Africa, with Rwanda being the latest recipient. AFRICOM’s African partners who already possess Grand Caravan EX aircraft include Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Kenya and Uganda.
The Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft is known for its dependable and efficient performance by regional airlines, charter operators and cargo carriers worldwide. The Grand Caravan EX turboprop was engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. When government, military and commercial customers want airborne solutions for critical missions, they turn to Textron Aviation. The company’s aviation solutions provide the high performance and flight characteristics required to address the unique challenges of special missions operations. With unparalleled quality, versatility and low operating costs, Textron Aviation products are preferred for air ambulance, ISR, utility transport, aerial survey, flight inspection, training and a number of other special operations.