The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced US State Department approval for the sale of three extended-range King Air 350ER business turboprops for use in Canada's Manned Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (MAISR) programme.
Announced on 4 October, the procurement will see the three aircraft undergo 'customer unique' modifications to suit them for the role, with their mission fit being listed as including L-3 Wescam's MX-15D electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) imager, Northrop Grumman's AN/AAR-47B(V)2 missile and laser warning system and the BAE Systems/Extant Aerospace AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system. Other onboard equipment will include L-3 Communications Systems - West's Vortex transceiver, Raytheon's AN/APX-119 IFF transponder, the Rockwell Collins AN/ARC-210 transceiver, the KGV-135A communications security module, the KIV-77 cryptographic appliqué, and the KG-250X network encryptor.
With associated tool sets, ground support equipment, airframe and engine spares, training, and logistics added in, the MAISR aircraft will cost approximately USD300 million. In programmatic terms, the Canadian Government initiated a US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process relating to its MAISR programme in April which in June evolved into a two-stage process: acquisition of the platforms and their mission systems, followed by the letting of a contract covering "complete programme" support services.