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Military Capabilities

Cameroon, Chad take delivery of Cessna ISR aircraft

05 February 2018

The Cameroonian and Chadian Air Forces have each received two Cessna 208 aircraft modified for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions from the United States.

Chad’s two new Cessna 208 ISR aircraft are seen at Adji Kossei Air Base, N’Djamena on 18 January. (US Air Force)Chad’s two new Cessna 208 ISR aircraft are seen at Adji Kossei Air Base, N’Djamena on 18 January. (US Air Force)

A Cameroonian military officer confirmed to Jane’s that the 208s have arrived in Cameroon, while a spokesperson for US African Command (AFRICOM) said Chad’s two arrived in N’Djamena on 2 December 2017.

The Cessnas were modified into ISR platforms under contracts that the US awarded to North American Surveillance Systems and L-3 Communications in May 2016. A US official confirmed the aircraft were donated to both countries.

The AFRICOM spokesperson declined to provide any detail on the equipment fitted to the aircraft, saying only that they are “able to successfully conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions”.

A photograph released by the US military showed one of the Chadian Cessna 208s at Chief Adji Kossei Air Base equipped with an L3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optic/infrared payload.

The AFRICOM spokesperson said Chadian Air Force personnel undertook flying, maintenance, and support training at different US military facilities and in Chad to enable them to operate the new aircraft.

The Cameroonian military officer said Cameroonian Air Force air and ground crews had undergone training on the Cessna 208 in the United States throughout 2017. He added that the aircraft will be integrated into existing units, probably the 321st Liaison and Observation Flight. This is part of the 32nd Air Squadron, an air observation unit currently flying a mix of Humbert Aviation Tétras 912 and Aero Synergie J300 Joker ultralight aircraft.

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