J C Menon
The U.S Army’s Special Operations Aviation Command (SOCOM) has awarded Airbus DS Military Aircraft Inc. a US$10m contract for the sustainment and modernisation of five CASA 212-200 CC60 aircraft. This includes new avionics suites and aircraft maintenance refreshes with the majority of the work to be performed in Mobile, Alabama and expected to be complete by August 2023. The upgrades will meet the 2020 FAA requirements for global air traffic management with refreshed interiors and lighting. Airbus D.S. Military Aircraft continues to stock parts and provide engineering and technical expertise to support them well into the future, the company says.
The C-212 Aviocar was developed by Airbus predecessor CASA. After its first flight in 1971, this twin turboprop-powered aircraft was built in a production run of 40 plus years, during which more than 470 were assembled in Spain by CASA and under license in Indonesia by the country’s IPTN/Nurtanio aerospace company. With a maximum take-off weight of 6,500-8,100 kg and rear ramp-equipped, the unpressurised C212 has been used for search and rescue missions, in the deployment of skydivers and smokejumpers, in the airliner, charter and short-haul cargo roles alongside military applications that vary from electronic countermeasure platforms to service with SOCOM. Its durability was underscored by the C212’s deployment by Australian airline Skytraders to support Australia’s science and research efforts in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.