The Belize Ministry of National Defense and Border Security has taken delivery of its first special mission Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft from Textron Aviation.
The company delivered the aircraft to Belize under a foreign military sale contract awarded by the US Army Contracting Command.
“With the addition of a Cessna 208 Caravan airplane, the Belize Defence Force (BDF) Air Wing has both strengthened and modernized its fleet of aircraft,” the defense ministry said.
The keys to the new plane were officially handed over by the US government during a ceremony at the Williamson Hangar Complex in Ladyville. Dubbed a ‘game-changer’ for the BDF, the US$7.84-million donation will be vital to the work of the ministry in building the capacity of its military forces, the ministry added.
The aircraft is fitted with an electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) sensor, operator mission console, tactical radios and data link. Textron Aviation will provide pilot, mission operator and maintenance training, as well as an in-country field service representative.
“The Grand Caravan EX delivered to the Belize Ministry of National Defense and Border Security will be used as a multi-mission platform for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), search and rescue (SAR), air mobility, light air drop and other operations as necessary,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales.
“This is the first Caravan EX in the service of the Belize Ministry of National Defense and Border Security.”