An additional King Air maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) is being acquired by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) to supplement the two King Air B200s already in service. A contract for the aircraft, a King Air 250 variant, was signed with Aerodata of Germany on October 27. The purchase is being financed by European Union 2014-2020 Internal Security Funds (ISF).
The additional aircraft will be outfitted with integrated systems and a service support package, strengthening the current fixed-wing fleet’s role of protecting the southern external borders of the EU. Specialised mission equipment will be similar to the earlier aircraft, including integration of a Telephonics RDR 1700B 360° belly-mounted radar, a Wescam MX 15i forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system, SAR direction finder and a number of other sensors, together with communication equipment that will include satellite communication and data transmission systems.
It will be modified in Aerodata’s facilities at Braunschweig Airport in Germany, where the two current aircraft were also outfitted. Delivery is scheduled for 2017. The first AFM King Air had been inducted into service on April 5, 2011, while the second arrived on March 5, 2012. Alan Warnes