Textron Aviation has supplied a Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft to the Belize Defence Force (BDF) as part of a US foreign military sale (FMS) contract.

The aircraft was officially handed over by the US Government at the Williamson Hangar Complex in Ladyville, Belize.

The US Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal executed the FMS.

Textron Aviation Special Mission Sales vice-president Bob Gibbs said: “The Grand Caravan EX delivered to the Belize Ministry of National Defense and Border Security will be used as a multi-mission platform for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), search and rescue (SAR), air mobility, light air drop, and other operations as necessary.

“This is the first Caravan EX in the service of the Belize Ministry of National Defense and Border Security.”

The Cessna Grand Caravan EX was donated by the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) through the US Foreign Military Financing programme to help modernise the interdiction capabilities of the BDF Airwing.

The $7.84m donation package also covers pilot, mission operator, and maintenance training by the company, as well as the deployment of an in-country field service representative.

The aircraft features a data link, an electro-optical/infra-red sensor, tactical radios, and operator mission consoles.

US Ambassador to Belize Michelle Kwan said: “This latest donation from the American people is a powerful investment in the future of the Belize Defence Force and the Belize interagency. We are proud to partner with Belize in our shared pursuit of secure borders and regional stability.”

In 2022, Belize received $1.6m in security assistance, including vehicles, training, and communication systems, from the US.