In response to an escalating need for intratheater airlift, PEO-FW procured six Pilatus PC-12 aircraft in 2005. These aircraft were modified with a suite of military communications and navigation equipment. They were subsequently fielded as the U-28A aircraft in 2006. The aircraft was selected for its versatile performance and ability to operate from short and unimproved runway surfaces. A weight-reduction modification and a mission-enhancement modification were implemented on these aircraft in 2007, extending their operational range and operational effectiveness. Nine additional aircraft were procured in 2007 for subsequent delivery during 2008. Additional Department of Defense supplemental funding in 2008 procured another six aircraft to meet increased operational demands, as well as upgrading and standardization for the entire fleet. The final aircraft was delivered in January 2010, and the fleet-wide modifications, performed both in and out of the continental United States, will be complete by winter 2010.
USSOCOM partnered with the National Guard Bureau to support SOF objectives in support of overseas contingency operations (OCO). Six RC-26B aircraft were expeditiously modified and fielded with a SOF-unique communication and sensor suite.
|Pilatus PC-12 Aircraft|