The Malian Air Force received a Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft configured for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) on 2 April, the European Union and Armed Forces of Mali (FAMa) announced.
The Cessna was donated to Mali by the EU as part of its ongoing Programme of Support for Enhanced Security in the Mopti and Gao Regions and for the Management of Border Areas (PARSEC Mopti-Gao).
The EU valued the aircraft, its sensors, and personnel training programme at EUR5 million (USD5.6 million). It said it was handed over at Bamako Sénou Air Base 101 but would operate from Mopti-Sévaré airport, the location of the FAMa’s Air Base 102.
No information on the sensor suite was disclosed but photographs released by the EU showed the Cessna 208 fitted with an electro-optronic payload on the left side of its fuselage. While it presumably has an onboard control station, it is unclear if a ground control station has been delivered and whether the aircraft has a datalink for live transmission of imagery captured by its sensor.
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