Aerospace and security company Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has delivered the seventh fully integrated Mission Enhancement Kit (MEK) aircraft to the US Army.
The MEK aircraft delivery enhances capabilities to the US Army’s Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS) fleet.
Based on a Beechcraft King Air 350ER aircraft, EMARSS is an airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (AISR) system. It is designed to provide brigade combat teams with the ability to accurately detect and track surface targets day or night in all weather conditions.
SNC Mission Solutions and Technologies business area executive vice-president Tim Owings said: “SNC’s Mission Enhancement Kit is truly a game-changer, offering increased safety, performance and mission capability for aircraft operating in high-altitude areas.
“We are very proud to continue supporting the army and its mission with this work.”
The King Air 350 MEK reduces aircraft weight and increases engine performance. It also reduces the sound signature to improve its stealth capabilities.
SNC stated that it modifies the aircraft to extend time aloft and enable increased operating weight with less take-off risk.
The modifications to the aircraft also allow for operations on shorter runways.
This capability enables the aircraft to be more suitable for a broader range of operational environments, providing customers with multi-mission and special mission capabilities, as well as increased safety.
So far, the US Army has acquired 16 MEK kits. SNC expects to deliver two more MEKs this year.
The company said it will continue to perform contracted work from its facilities in Hagerstown, Maryland, US.
SNC has over 15 years of King Air modification and integration expertise. The company has more than 800,000 hours of operational experience on special mission platforms for government and military customers.
In August last year, SNC secured a US Army contract to continue the production of Simple Key Loader (SKL), an encryption device that supports secure communications.