UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


U-27A / C-16

The Cessna Aircraft Company's Caravan I -- designated the U-27A by the Department of Defense -- is a single-engine, high-wing aircraft. With an initial cost of $1.8-$2.2 million each, the Caravan's fully weaponized cost could reach $22 million. Its oversized tires allow operation from soft or unimproved fields, and its cabin holds up to 12 passengers. The C-16 designation was assigned to Cessa Caravan CE-208 aircraft intended for use by the Army for missions against leftist forces in El Salvador and Nicaragua during the mid-1980s. In fact, the aircraft were apparently not accepted for service.

The Cessna AC-208 Combat Caravan is an adaptable, multi-role aircraft. Already in widespread use around the world, the Cessna 208 is a favorite among bush pilots, contractors, humanitarian organizations, and militaries for its simplicity, ruggedness, and low cost. Designed as a regional utility aircraft, the Cessna 208 trades speed and maneuverability for cargo capacity. The standard Cessna 208 can carry up to 3,835lbs of cargo or 12 passengers.

Farnborough is the place where man ufacturers of civil aircraft will present their aircraft for a potential military role. In 1989 a Cessna 208 was painted in military grey. Dummy 2.75-inch rockets and Stinger missiles were hung under the wings. Best of all, a six-barrel .50 caliber Gatling gun was mounted just inside the cargo door. The aircraft is intended to be used by various government agencies for reconnaissance, drug interdiction and border patrol. According to the Cessna representative at the plane, some sales for this purpose have occurred, but he wouldn't say to whom or what the optional equipment was.

The AC-208 Combat Caravan adds wing-mounted hard points capable of mounting machine guns, rocket pods, or Hellfire missiles. Adding a roll-up cargo door and either 7.62mm GAU- 17 or .50 caliber GAU-19 electronically driven Gatling guns would give the AC- 208 an added gunship capability. The AC-208’s large fuselage can host a wide array of sensors and communications equipment along with their operators, making the aircraft a suitable ISR and command and control platform.

The Cessna 208 is the advanced fixed wing training aircraft for the Iraqi Flying Training Wing. Iraqi students spend approximately six months learning to fly the Cessna and receive pilot wings upon completion of the training syllabus. They then move onto the Iraqi air force's operational aircraft which includes the C-208, King Air, C-130 Hercules or SAMA (Zenair) CH-2000. The Iraqi Air Force Flying Training Wing inventory had a total of five Cessna 208s by the end of 2008.

Because of their reliability and flexibility, Caravans are in service with armies, air forces, police forces, and other government agencies around the world. One export sales variant of the U-27A boasts various hardpoints for weapons, as well as a three-barrel Gatling gun that pokes ominously from the port cargo door. Equipped with an optional spray system, the U-27A can apply pesticides to crops, thus improving agriculture and perhaps eliminating such disease-bearing pests as mosquitoes. Eradication of the narcotics trade is another possible mission. The U-27A's ability to accommodate either a rifle squad or 3,835 pounds of cargo is well suited to counterinsurgency (COIN) military operations, which are primarily small-unit infantry engagements. Although not a short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft in the strictest sense, the U-27A can still operate from fields 2,170 feet in length.

Living up to its name, the Grand Caravan delivers exceptional performance. In ISA conditions at sea level it climbs at 975 fpm (297 mpm) and cruises at speeds up to 184 knots (341 km/h). Maybe that's why the Caravan is the go-to aircraft for both business and pleasure. Whether it's reaching far-away customers or reaching out to your son through fly-fishing, the Grand Caravan is more than up to the challenge. And even with all the available seating, this extraordinary aircraft can change roles quickly by converting to a cargo hauler in less than 30 minutes, doubling its duty. And more than earning its keep.

With up to 340 cubic feet (9.6 m3) of cabin space, it can carry up to 12 passengers (depending on local regulations), a mountain of cargo or a healthy combination of both. In fact, with the Grand Caravan's optional cargo pod, users gain an additional 1,000 pounds (454 kg) of easy-to-access cargo/storage capacity within the 111.5 cubic foot (3.2 m3) pod.

Since its introduction, the Cessna® Caravan® has consistently defined versatility and performance, keeping you ahead of the competition. Operators in the world’s most demanding environments immediately adopted the rugged, dependable turboprop and have been rewarded with unparalleled dispatch reliability. The powerful, efficient, ultra-dependable 675-horsepower PT6A-114A turbine engine gives the Caravan its exceptional payload capabilities. On top of more than 30 years of proven capability comes even greater value with the Caravan’s Cessna factory warranty, parts availability and lower direct operating costs.

The Cessna® Grand Caravan® EX is known for its dependable and efficient performance by regional airlines, charter operators and cargo carriers worldwide. The Grand Caravan EX was engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity.

Rugged, economical and versatile, Caravan turboprops are unsurpassed as special missions aircraft. Unmatched fuel efficiency and low operating costs keep you aloft longer to meet your mission needs. The Caravan is capable of performing life-critical missions in remote locations, flying in adverse environments and operating on unimproved airstrips. Its high-wing design provides excellent ground visibility and a stable platform for intelligence gathering. Cessna can configure a Caravan specifically to accommodate sophisticated ISR systems, video equipment, still photography and infrared cameras.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 27-07-2016 18:53:54 ZULU