US approve additional Hellfire armed Cessna Combat Caravans for Iraq

U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of armed Cessna AC-208 turboprop light attack aircraft to Iraq.

Along with related equipment, training, and support, the deal is estimated at $65.3 million.

Iraq had requested purchase of 2 Cessna AC-208 aircraft modified for ground attack and surveillance missions by Orbital ATK.

The two additional aircraft will enable Iraqi Air Force to strengthen its ground attack capabilities against Al-Qaeda affiliate and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Iraq currently operates three C-208 and three AC-208 aircraft, which were acquired in 2008.

The AC-208  is equipped with dual rail LAU-131 Hellfire launcher capability on each wing, AN/ALE-47 electronic countermeasure dispenser, AN/AAR-60 Missile Launch Warning System, AN/AAQ-35 ElectroOptical Infrared Imaging System.

The AC-208 Combat Caravan is based on the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan commuter aircraft.

Powered by a single PW PT-6 turboprop engine, the Combat Caravan can be easily converted from a clean wing ISR role to an Hellfire armed ground attack role.