Afghan SpecOps gets PC-12NG Transport Planes
In October 2012, Sierra Nevada Corp. in Sparks, NV received a contract for 18 uniquely modified Pilatus PC-12/47E aircraft, which will be used by Afghan National Army Special Operations Forces. Sierra Nevada will handle the modifications to Pilatus’ aircraft, and acts as the American lead. Their work will be performed in Sparks, NV until July 31/15. The 645th AESG/WIJK at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH manages the contract (FA8620-13-C-4007).
The PC-12/47E single-engine turboprop is also known as the PC-12NG, and uses Pratt & Whitney Canada’s 1,200 shp PT6A-67P engine…
The PC-12/ U-28A
PC-12s are popular light aircraft, with a bit more heft than a Cessna Caravan, and the ability to take off and land using short dirt or grass runways. Over 1,000 have been around the world. Most are civilian planes, but Pilatus is marketing a PC-12NG Spectre variant [PDF] as a special operations platform. PC-12 designations feature a slash line, with PC-12/41 as the original model. The PC-12/47E is the company’s designation for the PC-12NG, with uprated engines and digital avionics.
The PC-12’s growing number of para-public and military users do include US Special Operations Command, where the “U-28A” serves as a reconnaissance platform and communications relay that can also be converted for light transport and air ambulance roles.
Assuming there’s still a government to deliver them to by 2015, Afghanistan’s PC-12s will serve alongside Cessna 208B Caravans, which are mostly trainers, but can and have been used operationally. They may also find themselves working with AAF Mi-17 helicopters, given the nature of their missions. They’ll certainly be sorely needed, following the collapse of the ANAF’s larger C-27A tactical transport fleet.
Contracts & Key Events
May 5/14: Sierra Nevada Corp. in Sparks, NV receives a $34.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, covering fixed-wing aircraft (PC-12) sustainment for Afghan National Army Special Operations Forces to “keep the aircraft operational.” Work will be performed at Kabul International Airport and Kandahar, Afghanistan, and is expected to be complete by Dec 16/14. This urgent 100% foreign military sales undefinitized contract for Afghanistan is a sole-source award, managed by the 645 AESG/WIJK at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH (FA8620-14-C-3027).
Oct 16/14: Contract. The USAF is managing a $218 million firm-fixed-price contract for 18 uniquely modified Pilatus PC-12/47E aircraft, which will be used by Afghan National Army Special Operations Forces. Sierra Nevada will handle the modifications to Pilatus’ aircraft, and acts as the American lead. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2015.
Their work will be performed in Sparks, NV until July 31/15. The 645th AESG/WIJK at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH manages the contract (FA8620-13-C-4007).