Textron Aviation Inc. was awarded a contract for two additional Beechcraft King Air 350CER turboprop aircraft for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations. After mission modifications by Sierra Nevada Corp., these two Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) aircraft will join a fleet of 23 other King Air 350 aircraft used to safeguard the United States homeland as part of the coordinated application of CBP’s aviation and maritime law enforcement resources.
"These aircraft can fly six-hour missions and can deploy to hot spots where multi-sensor patrols assist both ground and marine agents to detect, interdict and prevent acts of terrorism as well as the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband toward or across the borders of the United States,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales.
The CBP MEA is equipped with a sophisticated array of active and passive sensors, technical collection equipment and satellite communications capabilities that can be deployed for ground interdiction operations, air-to-air intercept operations and medium-range maritime patrols. The aircraft is operated by a crew of four, including two highly trained sensor operators who employ the mission equipment and coordinate the information flow to the ground.
The Beechcraft King Air 350CER aircraft is an extended range version of the King Air 350i twin-engine turboprop aircraft configured with an optional cargo door, resulting in enhanced mission flexibility. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A or optional factory installed PT6A-67A turboprop engines with Hartzell four blade propellers power the King Air 350CER aircraft, and a fully integrated Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite provides pilot(s) with state-of-the-art touchscreen controls.