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Philippines to receive new Cessna C-208 ISR aircraft

The Philippines will receive at least one new Cessna C-208 aircraft equipped for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

On 24 January the US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded US-based MAG Aerospace a USD19.8 million contract under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme to integrate ISR equipment on a C-208 aircraft for the Philippines. The contract includes an option for an additional, fully integrated C-208 ISR aircraft.

The DoD said that the total cumulative contract value is USD23.9 million. Work is expected to be completed by September 2024.

Although not explicitly mentioned, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will likely be the operator of the new aircraft.

This follows the acquisition of two Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX ISR-capable aircraft for the PAF in 2016 as part of a contract, which also included Cessna 208 ISR aircraft for Chad, Cameroon, and Niger.

The aircraft, delivered in July 2017, were part of a USD33 million package funded through the US Building Partner Capacity Program to improve the Philippine capabilities for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

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