13 November 2009
RAAF's King Air 350 (photo : Astralian Aviation)
Hawker Pacific has signed a contract with the Defence Material Organisation to supply and support King Air 350s which will be used as an interim replacement for the reently retiring Caribou tactical transport fleet.
The turnkey lease and support contract will see the provision of eight modified King Airs for the RAAF Air Lift Group, and builds upon similar contracts for King Airs previously operated by the Army’s 173SQN. The aircraft, which include three King Airs being transferred from the Army (such as the example pictured) to the RAAF, are being used until a Caribou replacement is eventually acquired.
“Hawker Pacific’s approach of combining civilian efficiencies and tailored military specific customer outcomes will deliver Air Lift Group with a powerful complement to its existing airlift capabilities,” said Doug Park, Hawker Pacific’s senior vice president Australian operations. “The King Air 350 is a high performance turboprop aircraft that has proven itself to the Army and the RAAF as a most cost effective, flexible and reliable platform – and we expect that these attributes will be fully exploited by Air Lift Group in the coming years.”
The King Airs will begin their service at RAAF Townsville this month, initially with the former Army aircraft, with the full fleet of eight aircraft due to operational in mid 2010.