New Surveillance Aircraft – Canada in Afghanistan – December 2009
Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance: New ISR Aircraft
Canadian Forces 'CT-145Bs' or
Contractor-Operated King Airs?
David Pugliese has reported on an obscure contract being processed through the US Army's CECOM Acquisition
Center. To our knowledge, this contract was not posted on MERX nor has it gone through US Foreign
Military Sales notification. The contract covers the modification of two Canadian-supplied Beech King
Air 300 light commuter airliners into sophisticated spy planes along the line of those of US Task Force ODIN.
The US Army's Task Force ODIN uses in-service C-12R King
Air aircraft oufitted with the sensors of the Predator UAVs. If the Canadian Forces are following the US Army example, we applaud them
– we could hardly do otherwise having recommended that DND follow a similar course in July 2008. But are the new ISR aircraft going to the CF?
Canadian Forces crews have recent experience on King Airs – the contractor-operated Multi-Engine Utility Flight at Trenton (flying Aero Support's
King Air 200s) and multi- engined trainers at Stockport (with smaller Allied Wings King Air
B90Bs). New ISR aircraft will be the slightly more powerful King Air 300s. So, are these new CF
A quarter of the work is to be done in Afghanistan and the completion date is 15 June 2011.That date corresponds with
the announced end of CF combat in Afghanistan. So does the arrival of new Canadian ISR 'assets' in
Kandahar suggest an extension to the CF combat mission? Not necessarily. The question remains: Who owns these
The Government of Canada does currently own a King Air 300. This aircraft, C-GHQG, is 'owned' by the Solicitor
General of Canada but operated by CSIS. This could be one of the 'base' airframes. If so, does this suggest the
start of Canadian "civilian" ISR ops from Kandahar Airfield? (US ISR King Airs have been operated by
civilian crews both in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Will spooky ISR flights support JTF2/CSOR after June 2011?
Or is the Government spending almost $13M to provide the Canadian Forces with ISR for the 6 months between the end of
combat operations and withdrawl from Kandahar?
 US Army MC-12Ws for the Liberty Project are based on the King Air 350 airframe. This project was
the rapidly constructed Liberty ships built in World War 2.
The Telford segment of the original DoD contract press release is reproduced below.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
Telford Aviation, Inc., Bangor, Maine, was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $12,268,639 firm-fixed-price contract
for a medium altitude reconnaissance surveillance system – Canada Systems integration and logistics support
for two King Air 300 commercial aircraft provided by Canada.
This effort is currently funded at 49 precent of the not-to-exceed price until definitiz- ation takes place. Work is
to be performed in Hagerstown, [ Maryland ] (75 percent), and in Afghanistan (25 percent), with an estimated
completion date of June 15, 2011. One sole source bid was solicited with one bid received.
CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, [New Jersey], is the contracting activity