MC-12W Liberty

The MC-12W is a crewed, medium/low-altitude tactical ISR, SIGINT, and targeting platform based on the Beechcraft King Air 350ER (Extended Range). It was hastily developed under Project Liberty to meet an urgent operational need for crewed battlefield ISR and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in less than a year in 2009. MC-12W is capable of complete ISR collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination.

The aircraft provides targeting data and tactical ISR direct to special operations ground forces. Specialized equipment includes FMV, laser designation, SIGINT, advanced BLOS connectivity, and advanced SATCOM. ACC passed 20 airframes to USSOCOM in 2015, and the Oklahoma ANG formed a dedicated SOF support mission with the remaining aircraft, deploying for the first time to Afghanistan in 2015. Pooling aircraft within SOCOM initially hampered the 137th SOW’s effort to reach full capability. Coordination between AFSOC and the ANG eventually freed 13 aircraft, enabling the aircrew qualifications and availability needed to reach full operational capability in 2022. The fleet requires sensor modernization to meet COCOM requirements including SAR for ground-moving target tracking in poor visibility, and a second high-fidelity EO/IR/full-motion video sensor in addition to a modernized tactical data link. SOCOM announced it is procuring a fleet of 75 AT-802U Sky Warden light attack/armed reconnaissance aircraft to replace the U28A as well as the MC-12W over the next few years.

Contractors: Beechcraft; L3Harris (EO/IR sensors).
First Flight: April 28, 2009
Delivered: April 2009-2012
IOC: June 2009.
Production: 42.
Inventory: 13.
Operator: ANG.
Aircraft Location: Will Rogers ANGB, Okla.
Active Variant: •MC-12W. Modified Beechcraft King Air 350ER equipped for battlefield ISR and targeting.
Dimensions: Span 57.9 ft, length 46.7 ft, height 14.3 ft.
Weight: Max T-O 16,500 lb.
Power Plant: Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A turboprops, each 1,050 shp.
Performance: Speed 359 mph, range 2,760 miles.
Ceiling: 35,000 ft.
Accommodation: Two pilots, two sensor operators.

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