Canadian Special Forces will receive three new Beechcraft King Air 350ER twin-turboprop aircraft in 2022. The aircraft will be based at CFB Trenton, Ontario, and will be utilized for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions both overseas and domestically.
Canada finalized an agreement with the U.S. government in April for CAD188 million ($142.4 million). The total program cost is estimated to be CAD247 million ($187 million), which includes acquisition of the aircraft and mission equipment and an initial allotment of funding for in-service support.
Canadian companies were interested in supplying aircraft and mission equipment, but Ottawa determined that only the U.S. could deliver the capability fast enough. A competition will be held for long-term maintenance.
The deal was approved by the U.S. State Department back in October 2018, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. That announcement referenced an estimated $300 million price tag.
The DSCA announcement listed the following mission equipment as part of the deal:
- Three WESCAM MX-15D electro-optical & infrared imaging sensors
- Three AAR-47B(V)2 missile and laser warning systems
- Three ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser systems
- Three VORTEX dual RF Ku LOS transceivers
- Three COMSEC modules (KGV-135A)
- Two APM-424(V)5 transponder test sets
- Five KIV-77 Mode 4/5 crypto applique computers for IFF
- Three APX-119 IFF digital civil and military transponders
- Six ARC-210 multimode voice and data transceivers
- Three KG-250X NSA-certified Type 1 Inline Network Encryptors (INE)