Textron Aviation today announced it was awarded a contract by ATI Engineering Services, LLC for four Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Tunisian Air Force. The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company. ATI Engineering Services will modify and equip the aircraft with an electro-optical/infra-red sensor, operator console, tactical radio, video data link and night vision compatible lighting. These are the first Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Tunisian Air Force. Since 2014, the U.S. Government has provided grant aid funding for 16 Grand Caravan EX aircraft procured through Foreign Military Sale cases throughout Africa, with Tunisia being the latest recipient. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) intent is to field multiple iterations of this configuration throughout Africa, and to streamline logistics support and enhance partner nation interoperability, both of which is expected to reduce costs to the partner nation and to the US Government.
“The fleet of Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprops will aid the Tunisian Air Force in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the country. The aircraft is engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, unimproved runways, while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. It is a perfect match for this mission throughout Africa,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation.
The Cessna Caravan platform has seen more than 2,900 aircraft delivered that are certified in 100 countries with nearly 24 million flight hours amassed worldwide since the aircraft was introduced. Caravans fulfill roles for multiple missions, ranging from flight training to recreation, commuter airlines to VIP transport, cargo carriers and humanitarian missions. The Grand Caravan EX aircraft is known for its dependable and efficient performance by regional airlines, charter operators and cargo carriers worldwide. The aircraft offers an impressive output of 867 horsepower and a rate of climb of 1,275 feet per minute. 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 mission operations.
For more than 90 years, Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has empowered our collective talent across the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands to design and deliver the best aviation experience for our customers. With a range that includes everything from business jets, turboprops, and high-performance pistons, to special mission, military trainer and defense products, Textron Aviation has the most versatile and comprehensive aviation product portfolio in the world and a workforce that has produced more than half of all general aviation aircraft worldwide. Customers in more than 170 countries rely on our legendary performance, reliability and versatility, along with our trusted global customer service network, for affordable, productive and flexible flight. Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training.