Jun 25, 2014

Mauritania turns DC-3 into surveillance aircraft

The Mauritanian Air Force has increased its ability to monitor the country's vast, sparsely populated territory by upgrading its Basler Turbo BT-67 with an electro-optical (EO) turret and associated mission systems so it can carry out surveillance as well as transport duties.
The BT-67 is a refurbished DC-3 acquired by the FAIM in 1999. The US Department of State Air Wing operates at least one BT-67 that has been similarly upgraded with an under-nose FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE turret.
L-3 Wescam said it had delivered two MX-15 sensor turrets to Mauritania, but these had been fitted to Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft. Although the FAIM was not previously known to operate Caravans, it is possible that one unit could have been moved to the BT-67 in-country.
The FAIM also operates Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucanos that are equipped with Star SAFIRE III turrets, according to FLIR Systems, but the BT-67 has a significantly longer endurance than these light attack aircraft.

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