South Korea has agreed to acquire a Cessna Citation Encore with a flight inspection system supplied by Okalahoma-based NXT.

Industry sources say a $12 million contract was tentatively awarded at the end of December to South Korean agent DM Aviation, with NXT serving as prime contractor and Cessna supplying a green aircraft. A formal contract announcement is expected later this month.

NXT will deliver the Encore to South Korea’s ministry of construction and transportation in 2008 after integrating a suite of flight-inspection equipment with support from Cessna. NXT has previously developed flight-inspection systems for the Saab 2000 and Gulfstream IV.

The ministry held a competition last year for one flight-calibration aircraft, which pitted the Encore against the Bombardier Learjet 40 and Raytheon Hawker 400XP. But at the last minute the South Korean agents for Bombardier and Raytheon elected not to submit final bids. Sources say Bombardier and Raytheon were concerned the programme was too risky, given the payment schedule, which includes only a 3% downpayment, followed by 16% in 2006, 18% in 2007 and the balance upon delivery in 2008.

The ministry now operates a Bombardier Challenger on flight-inspection missions. No Encores operate in South Korea, but Korean Air uses four Citation Ultras, the predecessor to the Encore, for flight training.

  • The South Korean coastguard has awarded a tentative contract to EADS Casa for the supply of one C-212 for maritime patrol and surveillance missions. Several aircraft were evaluated for the new coastguard programme, including the Antonov An-38, Beechcraft King Air 200, Let L-410 and PZL-Meilec M-28.

Source: Flight International