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Orbital ATK weaponizes Lebanese Air Force Cessna

A Lebanese Air Force surveillance plane is being modified by Orbital ATK to fire Hellfire missiles.

By Richard Tomkins

DULLES, Va., March 17 (UPI) -- A Lebanese Air Force Cessna C-208B aircraft used for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions is being given a strike capability by Orbital ATK.

The work on the C-208B Caravan was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense under a Foreign Military Sales deal.

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"Orbital ATK's modified Caravan has a proven track record of reliability, affordability and versatility," said Bill Kasting, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK's Defense Electronic Systems division of the Defense Systems Group. "To date, the operational readiness of Orbital ATK's modified C-208 aircraft continues to be outstanding and we have successfully supported international customers for more than four years since the initial fielding of the system."

The company said the aircraft will be given the capability to fire Hellfire missiles.

The gunship capability package is part of Orbital ATK's Special Mission Aircraft product portfolio, which provides advanced capabilities to customer platforms, including a roll-on, roll-off palletized approach. The Cessna C-208B is a single-engine aircraft with a cruise speed of 197 miles per hour and a range of about 1,400 miles. Orbital ATK had previously modified the Lebanese-owned aircraft by adding an electro-optical sensor, communications and aircraft self-protection equipment.

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The monetary value of the contract, which includes one year of logistics support, was not detailed.

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