In a ceremony today at its headquarters in Wichita, Kan., Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) rolled out the first special mission King Air 350 for the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The Beechcraft King Air family, which has been in USMC service for more than 20 years, is the world’s best selling turboprop line of all time. The USMC awarded the defense contract for six modified King Air 350 turboprops, designated by the military as the UC-12W Huron, to HBC in July 2008 to replace six of their current UC-12 Operational Support Airlift (OSA) aircraft. Included in the contract are options allowing for replacement of the remaining six UC-12 aircraft in the fleet.
“Roll out of the UC-12W is an important milestone for the U.S. Marine Corps OSA community,” said Jim Maslowski, HBC president, U.S. and International Government Business. “With its enhanced range, payload, avionics and aircraft survivability suite, introduction of the UC-12W into the inventory will provide the forward-deployed Marine Air-Ground Task Force relevant and sustainable OSA and critical flexibility. We are appreciative of the Kansas Delegation who played a critical role in obtaining the funding for this important contract as these aircraft will provide all-important operational support to our troops.”
Joining HBC officials for the ceremony were Lt. Gen. George Trautman, USMC Deputy Commandant for Aviation; Maj. Gen. John Croley, Commanding General 4th Marine Aircraft Wing; and Maj. Gen. (Select) Jon Davis, Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation. In addition, representatives from Naval Air Systems Command and the Defense Contract Management Agency attended the ceremony.
The current UC-12 aircraft are military transport versions of the Beechcraft King Air 200, which have been providing urgent intra-theater transport of high priority cargo/passengers to the USMC for the last 20 years. The UC-12W, a modified version of the King Air 350 equipped with a cargo door and military required equipment, is a modern and improved version of the UC-12.
As the flagship and the largest of the King Air line, the versatile King Air 350 has incredible capabilities and is ideal for military use. The UC-12W will provide the USMC with advanced technology and greater reliability. It is faster, has more range and carries more useful cargo and two additional passengers than the UC-12.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.