King Air 350ER Special Mission Aircraft, United States of America
The King Air 350ER (extended range) is a multi-mission, twin-engine turboprop aircraft designed and manufactured by Beechcraft Augsburg, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation. It is developed to perform a range of special missions for military and law enforcement authorities.
The aircraft can be deployed to conduct search and rescue, intelligence, reconnaissance, target acquisition, military transport / utility, aerial patrol, fishery inspection, training, pollution monitoring, seaway / shipping lane surveillance, law enforcement, air ambulance missions and other special operations.
King Air 350ER design and features
The multi-mission King Air 350ER aircraft is a derivative of King Air 350 and incorporates advanced technology and a unique and flexible mission package. It is highly reliable and can last for more than 12 hours with extended range.
The aircraft has an overall length of 14.22m, height of 4.37m and wing span of 17.65m. It has a maximum ramp weight of 7,530kg, take-off / landing weight of 7,484kg and maximum zero fuel weight of 7,110kg. It can carry a maximum payload of 1,361kg and useful load of 2,903kg. The maximum fuel capacity is 2,355kg.
The King Air 350ER features spacious cabin that offers superior comfort and convenience. The cabin is 5.94m long, 1.45m high and 1.37m wide. It can accommodate two crew and up to eleven passengers. It can be optionally fitted with two additional fold up seats.
Avionics and sensors onboard the King Air multi-mission aircraft
The King Air 350ER aircraft features state-of-the-art cockpit incorporating an advanced Collins Pro Line 21 integrated avionics suite. It also features electro-optic / infrared (EO/IR) imaging and search radar radome system for detection, tracking and surveillance operations.
The aircraft is fitted with Lynx-2 lightweight, high-performance, multi-function synthetic aperture radar units developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. The radar operates in both synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) modes, offering a range of 80km. It provides high-resolution search and rescue imagery in all weather conditions.
King Air 350ER propulsion and performance
The King Air 350ER aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A engines, which each generate 1,050hp.
The aircraft can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 578km/h, offers a maximum range of 4,361km and has a service ceiling of 10.66m.
King Air 350ER orders and deliveries
Hawker Beechcraft received a contract from the Iraqi Air Force to deliver five King Air 350ER aircraft for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, in March 2007.
In June 2004, the US Navy announced the selection of the 737 MMA Boeing multi-mission maritime aircraft.
The US Air Force (USAF) awarded a $171m order to Hawker Beechcraft for 23 King Air 350ER aircraft in November 2008. The first aircraft was delivered in April 2009. The USAF awarded a follow-on order worth $45m for six additional aircraft to support Project Liberty in October 2009.
Hawker Beechcraft delivered first of four modified King Air 350ER turboprops to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as part of the future Military Flying Training System (UK MFTS) in November 2009.
In July 2010, the company proposed King Air 350ER aircraft to the US Army's Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System (EMARSS) programme.
The Mexican Navy Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) signed a contract with Beechcraft for the delivery of four aircraft in early 2014. In July 2014, the first aircraft was delivered to the SEMAR, as part of the Mexican Navy's ongoing fixed-wing aircraft modernisation programme. The second aircraft was delivered in August 2014, while the remaining are scheduled to be delivered in early 2015. The aircraft are also in service with the US Marine Corps.