The Irish Air Corps signed for three new Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft on 19 December, to replace the current Cessna 172s that have been in service since the early 1970s.
The contract, valued at EUR32 million (USD38 million), will see all three PC-12NG aircraft delivered to the Irish Republic between 2019 and 2020.
As noted by corps, the single-engined aircraft will be used for a range of missions, including medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), logistical support, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The contract announcement did not disclose what additional equipment might be procured to support these mission sets.
The five Cessna 172H Skyhawk aircraft that the Irish Air Corps flies are fielded by 1 Operations Wing, 104 Squadron, at Casement Airbase near Dublin. It has not been announced if this unit will transfer over to the PC-12NG or if a new one will be formed.
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