Rwanda closes in on medevac Caravan

A US Air Force (USAF) notification, issued on September 20, revealed that Rwanda is to receive two new aircraft to be used for medical evacuation and light transport missions during international peacekeeping operations throughout Africa.

The aircraft will be used especially for United Nations deployments in the Central African Republic, Sudan, and South Sudan.
The notification called for the supply of two single-engined, propeller-driven aircraft that would be suitable for passenger and light cargo transport, carrying a load of 3,500lb (1,588kg) or up to 11 passengers and two crew, and for medical/casualty evacuation and patient transport with two patient-care units.
Performance parameters set out by the USAF include a short take-off and landing (STOL) capability of less than 2,500ft (762m) on a narrow 25-50ft (7.62-15.24m) wide austere strip.
A ferry range of 900nm (1,667km) was specified, and a normal range on internal fuel of 450nm (833km), while carrying 11 passengers and two crew.
The aircraft were to be fitted with external hardpoints and were to be ‘plumbed’ for the carriage of auxiliary fuel tanks.
It was laid down that the aircraft should be a new-build, current commercial design with an all-up weight no greater than 12,500lb (5,670kg) with a fixed landing gear and a high-wing configuration to ensure maximum pilot visibility of the ground.
The notification called for both aircraft to be delivered in the livery and paint scheme and of the Rwanda Air Force (Force Aerienne Rwandaise).
The aircraft will be supplied under the US foreign military sales (FMS) programme.
No mention was made of armament or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors, so it is assumed that the aircraft will be additional to the 22 AC-208 armed ISR aircraft being acquired by the USAF for allied air arms.
The aircraft are likely to be ‘vanilla’ Caravans, and not armed AC-208 Combat Caravans or Block 2 AC-208 Eliminators. These variants are modified by Orbital ATK, and carry a range of ISR systems and sensors and a variety of weapons systems.