The Air Force is looking to modify Afghan air force Cessna C-208 light airlifters with specialized equipment for cargo airdrop, according to a solicitation to industry. Under the Afghanistan C-208 Airdrop Program, contractors would initially ferry two Afghan C-208s from Shindand AB, Afghanistan, for testing of the airdrop modifications in the United States, according to Air Force Material Command’s request for information, posted on Dec. 3 at the Federal Business Opportunities website. Modifications would include fitting the aircraft with midair-operable cargo doors, pallet floor rollers, parachute static lines, slipstream fairings, airdrop signal lights, and a cockpit operator’s panel, states the RFI. Upon successful completion of flight testing at Eglin AFB, Fla., and Peterson AFB, Colo., the contractor would retrofit the AAF’s Caravan fleet with the airdrop kits. Service officials would like industry feedback by Dec. 17.
The Air Force isn’t giving up on its long-frustrated efforts to retire older aircraft, as the department’s leader continues to talk with lawmakers about plans to free up funds for its modernization efforts, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones said Nov. 30.