L-3 to provide Yemen with surveillance fleet

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L-3 Communications has been awarded a contract worth up to $41.5 million to provide “four intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] aircraft in support of counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen”, the US Department of Defense says.

To be completed by 30 September 2015, the work will include the procurement and modification of four aircraft of an undisclosed type at L-3’s Platform Integration division facilities in Waco, Texas.

“This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition, and is 100% Foreign Military Sales for Yemen,” the DoD says in a 2 June contract notification. The deal also includes a two-year package of training and spare parts services, it adds.

L-3 – which declines to comment further on the announcement – has for the last several years been promoting its Spydr ISR modification of the Beechcraft King Air 350ER. Previously disclosed mission equipment options for the type include a two-turret fit of L-3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infrared sensors and a Selex ES PicoSAR synthetic aperture radar.

Yemen’s air force capabilities have already been enhanced by the provision of two special mission-variant examples of the Cessna 208, received via the USA during 2013.