MC-12W LIBERTY PROJECT AIRCRAFT (LPA)|
Printable Fact Sheet
BAGRAM AIRFIELD Afghanistan-- An MC-12W takes off from Dec. 29, 2009. This is the first mission of the newly activated 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by: Tech. Sgt. Jeromy K. Cross)
The MC-12W is a medium-altitude manned aircraft. The primary mission is providing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance support directly to ground forces. The MC-12W is a Joint Forces Air Component Commander-owned asset in support of the Joint Forces commander.
The MC-12W LPA is not just an aircraft, but a complete Collection, Processing, Analysis and Dissemination system. The planes are military versions of the Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350 and 350ER. A fully operational system consists of a modified aircraft (with sensors), a ground exploitation cell, line-of-sight and SATCOM datalinks, along with a robust voice communications suite. Sufficient manpower for 24-hour deployed operations.
The basic crew for the MC-12W is two pilots and two sensor operators.
The aircraft is equipped with an Electro Optical Infrared (EO/IR) sensor and other sensors as the mission requires. The EO/IR sensor also includes a laser illuminator and designator in a single sensor package.
The MC-12 system is capable of worldwide operations.
The "M" is the Department of Defense designation for a multi-role version of the well known C-12 series. In April 2008, the Secretary of Defense established a DoD-wide ISR Task Force to identify and recommend solutions for increased ISR in USCENTCOM AOR. On 1 Jul 08, the SecDef tasked the Air Force to proceed with procurement of 37 "C-12" class aircraft to augment unmanned systems. The MC-12 system is being procured in response to a requirement to provide persistent ISR information to joint force commanders. Medium-altitude ISR is a core mission for the Air Force and the MC-12 capability supports all aspects of Air Force Irregular Warfare mission (counter insurgency, foreign internal defense and building partnership capacity).
Primary function: Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
Contractor: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation
Power Plant: Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A, Shaft-Horsepower per Engine: 1,050 SHP
Wingspan: 57 ft 11 in
Length: 46 ft 8 in
Height: 14 ft 4 in
Weight: 12,500 lbs empty; Maximum Takeoff Weight: 350: 15,000 lbs; 350 ER: 16,500 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 350: 539 gallons / 3,611 lbs; 350 ER: 5,192 lbs
Speed: Cruise speed approx. 312 knots
Range: 350: Approx. 1500 nautical miles; 350 ER: Approx 2400 nautical miles
Ceiling: 35,000 ft
Crew: Two pilots and two sensor operators
Initial operational capability: June 2009
Unit Cost: $17 million includes aircraft and all sensor and communications equipment modifications
Inventory: Active Force, 37 planned; ANG, 0; Reserve, 0
Current as of June 2009