Textron awarded Rwanda Defence Force contract for Cessna Caravans


Textron Aviation yesterday announced it has been awarded a contract by ATI Engineering Services for two Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF). The aircraft, being delivered in support of the African Partnership Flight (APF) initiative, will be the first fixed-wing aircraft to be put in service by the RDF.

The Cessnas which are anticipated to enter service during the first half of 2021, will primarily be based in Kigali, Rwanda. ATI will modify and equip the RDF’s Grand Caravans with HF (High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio systems, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS), lighting and a reconfigurable interior featuring two ambulatory medical stretcher kits, 11 passenger seats, eight collapsible utility seats and a removable rollerball cargo floor.

“The Grand Caravan EX serves an enduring mission by providing transport, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation operations throughout Africa,” said Bob Gibbs, Vice President , Special Mission Sales for Textron Aviation. “The aircraft is engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. It is a perfect match for this mission throughout the US Africa Command [AFRICOM] area of responsibility.”

AFRICOM’s African partners already operate Grand Caravan EX aircraft in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Kenya and Uganda amongst others. These countries all participate in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, particularly in missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan. By using the same equipment such as the Grand Caravan EX in as many regions as possible, the efficiency of missions and maintenance is improved across the continent.