A FOREIGN Military Sales (FMS) contract has been awarded by the US Air Force to L-3 Communications for the modification and integration of intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities onto two Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft for Saudi Arabia. L-3’s Integrated Systems Group was awarded the $61 million contract on August 22,
Work on the contract will be performed at the Group’s facility in Greenville, Texas. Both aircraft are expected to be completed and delivered to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) by December 31, 2015.
Although details of previous RSAF King Air 350 orders have been difficult to tie-down, due to the secrecy surrounding most Saudi military deals, it is believed an initial order covered four aircraft, plus four options. The first two of these were delivered in August 2011. A larger order was then placed for an unspecified number of additional aircraft. At least 12 are currently in service and it is believed that up to 30 may have been ordered. It is unconfirmed, however, how many are planned to be in ISR configuration. Alan Warnes