WICHITA, Kan., April 13 (UPI) -- Hawker Beechcraft has delivered the first MC-12 Liberty intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to the U.S. Air Force.
The MC-12 special-mission turboprop aircraft is an initiative to increase ISR capabilities in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and is part of Defense Secretary Robert Gates's ISR task force.
The Air Force has ordered 37 of the MC-12 aircraft for the Project Liberty program, the Air Force reported.
"The MC-12 brings additional electro-optical and infrared full-motion video and signals intelligence to troops on the ground," Brig. Gen. Blair Hansen, ISR capabilities director, said in a statement.
"Through their advanced technology and reliability, these aircraft will increase the number of combat air patrols downrange."