Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) revealed on July 15 that it has recently delivered its seventh fully integrated Beechcraft King Air 350 Mission Enhancement Kit (MEK) aircraft to the US Army.
According to the US-based firm, this recent delivery adds “enhanced capabilities” to the US Army’s Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS) fleet. A special mission variant of Beechcraft’s King Air family, these 350s have been extensively modified by SNC to fulfil the army’s EMARSS requirements.
The US Army has purchased a total of 16 MEKs to date. Following this latest delivery, seven MEK-equipped aircraft have been delivered to the service thus far, and two additional platforms are due for delivery before the end of this year. SNC continues to perform the integration and modification work for this contract at its facilities in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Tim Owings, executive vice president of SNC’s Mission Solutions and Technologies business area, 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 arm and it’s mission with this work.”
SNC states that the King Air 350 MEK reduces aircraft weight, increases engine performance and significantly decreases the platform’s overall sound signature to enhance its stealth capabilities. As part of the integration process, the firm modifies each aircraft to enable the King Air 350 to remain aloft for long periods and to allow the platform’s operating weight to be increased without creating greater take-off risks. The MEK integration also allows the King Air 350 to operate from shorter runways in a variety of different environments.