AIR International – June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1

18 |


Cameroon and Chad’s new Caravans

The United States has officially
handed over Cessna 208B Grand
Caravan EX intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft
to Cameroon and Chad. The four
aircraft, two for each country, were
formally transferred in May after
months of training. Cameroon’s

Caravan package, worth $4.3 million,
includes support and training.
The two aircraft for Cameroon,
registered N337ZZ (c/n 208B5337)
and N339ZZ (c/n 208B5339), were
handed over to the Armée de l’Air de
Cameroun (Cameroon Air Force) by
the US Ambassador to Cameroon,

Peter Henry Barlerin on May 18.
Chad’s two aircraft, c/n 208B
and 208B5329, arrived in December
2017 wearing US civil registrations
N332ZZ and N329ZZ respectively,
after which pilot training took place.
Both aircraft were handed over
to Forces Aériennes Tchadiennes

(Chad Air Force) on May 2, 2018. The
Caravans will be used to combat
terrorism in the region (with a focus
on Boko Haram militants) and for
the ISR role are equipped with
L3 Wescam MX-15 multispectral
sensors with live video ground
downlink capability. Guy Martin

Chad’s two Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ISR aircraft at Adji Kossei Air Base in N’Djamena, Chad. US Air Force

DART-550’s maiden flight

Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH
has announced that a new variant
of the Diamond Aircraft DART
series flew for the first time in May

  1. The new DART-550 training
    aircraft is powered by the General
    Electric GE H75-100 turboprop
    engine rated at 550shp (410kW)
    featuring an electronic engine
    and propeller control system,
    a five-blade, fully featherable
    MT propeller. It features Martin
    Baker Mk16 ejection seats and

Garmin G3000 integrated avionics
systems. The expected maximum
speed is 247kts with a maximum
take-off mass (MTOM) of 2,400kg
(5,291lb) and an empty mass (fully
equipped) of 1,600kg (3,527lb).
Maximum endurance at loiter
speed of the DART-550 will be
eight hours plus reserve at MTOM.
The DART-550 will be in the
static display at the Farnborough
International Airshow in the UK
between July 16 and 22.

The first Diamond DART-550 OE-VGY minutes before its first flight in May

  1. Diamond Aircraft

Thailand’s fourth-

generation F-5 Tigers

The Royal Thai Air Force has
unveiled the first prototype of the
F-5F Super Tiger (F-5ST), which
has been modified by Elbit Systems
and Rafael Advanced Defense
Systems with new software and
hardware. The companies say
that following the upgrade the
F-5ST can be classed as a fourth-
generation fighter jet equipped
with advanced operational
capabilities, such as a modern and
powerful radar, a sophisticated

electronic warfare suite and a glass
cockpit conferring high accuracy
air-to-ground capabilities and
the ability to deploy IRIS-T air-to-
air missiles in conjunction with
Elbit Systems’ helmet-mounted
display. Elbit’s contract with
the Thai government, signed in
August 2017, is worth $96 million.
The Royal Thai Air Force currently
operates a fleet of F-5E and F-5F
Tigers from Bangkok-Don Muang
and Ubon-Ratchathani Air Bases.

The prototype Royal Thai Air Force F-5F Super Tiger 21105 during its roll-out
ceremony. The RTAF plans to modify 14 F-5s to F-5ST standard. Elbit/Royal
Thai Air Force
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