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Pakistan orders six Cessna MEDEVAC aircraft
July 28, 2017
The Cessna Grand Caravan EX. Photo credit - Cessna Aircraft

Pakistan orders six Cessna MEDEVAC aircraft

Under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract, the U.S. Air Force awarded Cessna Aircraft a $14.1 million U.S. sale to provide six aircraft specially equipped for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) to Pakistan.

The contract includes two Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX, four Cessna T206H Stationair aircraft, and the requisite maintenance and logistical support infrastructure. Both aircraft types will be modified to enable the Pakistani military to airlift critically injured personnel to fully-equipped hospitals in short order.

Touted as “the world’s ultimate utility vehicle” by Cessna Aircraft, the 208B Grand Caravan EX is capable of carrying as many as 14 people in its cabin (when in standard configuration). It is designed to operate from ill-prepared runways with the ability to carry a relatively heavy payload. As a singe engine design, the Grand Caravan EX is also marketed as being a cost-effective solution.

Based on the layout presented by Cessna Aircraft, the Grand Caravan EX should be capable of carrying at least two stretchers in its MEDEVAC configuration. With a complete airlift network – i.e. helicopters to extract a critically injured person from the field, and quickly ferry them to an airfield (prepared or rough) – the Grand Caravan EX could be used to great effect in reducing fatalities.

Besides MEDEVAC for military personnel engaged in combat (such as those engaged in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Northern Areas), the Grand Caravan EX could also be utilized to strengthen Pakistan’s domestic humanitarian relief capacity. Having absorbed the infrastructure to operate this type, it will be interesting to see if Pakistan picks up general cargo and potentially even intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) versions of the Grand Caravan EX.

The Grand Caravan EX’s take-off and landing distance is 658 metres and 560 metres, respectively. This makes this particular type incapable of short take-off and landing (STOL – which requires that an aircraft take-off and land within 450 metres). It will depend on which airstrips Pakistan plans to operate these aircraft from, it is likely that sufficiently able airstrips are available near what the Army and Air Force believe to be current combat and/or potential disaster zones.

Pakistan will also bank on the Cessna T206H Stationair, of which Pakistan will procure four. Granted, these are much smaller, capable of carrying a maximum of six individuals in standard configuration.

Unfortunately, the Stationair’s take-off distance is still a bit long (at 530 metres), but its landing distance is well within 450 metres. Although Cessna does not provide specifics into how MEDEVAC would work with the aircraft, it is likely that the Stationair could at least take on one stretcher. Like the Grand Caravan EX, it seems the Stationair can be configured for different mission roles, including ISR.

It has not been mentioned in the FMS contract, but it would be interesting if Pakistan one day opts for the amphibian variant of the Grand Caravan EX. The amphibian configuration would enable the aircraft to take-off and land on water, which could be interesting along Pakistan’s rivers and lakes, especially in the Northern Areas. Alternatively, the Stationair search and rescue configuration could be another option.

  • jigsaww

    Good acquisition.

    Probably nothing interesting for hindustanis to troll this article. lol.

    • Abdul Rashid

      Hi Jigsaww, no nothing interesting for Indians on this article. Nothing sets their heads on a wild left-right tilt frenzy than the very mention of “JF-17”. The very reference to the aircraft in itself has become an effective destabilisation weapon.

      • jigsaww

        Well now you made the forbidden mention.
        Thou shalt be trolled.

        • Abdul Rashid

          Haha! Silly me, here’s me messing around on the Cessna article while I have been given a lengthy two-part lecture on DRDO capabilities in response to my comment on the Altay article! I have chosen to make a very carefully considered, balanced and befitting reply….. NONE! Too busy drinking tea and waiting for the rain to stop.

          • pak bying cesna plane on amriki aid to ferry LaT terorists from POK.

          • Abdul Rashid

            Lol, very good impression there. So much so that MT’s Indian friend, no doubt too excited at what he was reading to bother looking at who made the comment, has voted it up. All it has to be is anti-Pakistan and it automatically secures a point regardless of the content or the manner in which it is written. Their loyalty to the cause of Pak hate makes Joachim von Ribbentrop look like a traitor to Hitler in comparison. These Indians really are the yardstick by which to measure hate.

  • Aziz Ihsan

    This aircrafts for Pak Army

  • Ashi Sidhu

    What will Pak do with these if it doesn’t have proper hospitals as Pakistan is one of the largest source of medical tourism to india

    • jigsaww

      Always hitting below the belt with cheap comments.
      They are for civilian assistance ops. Use your head.

    • Mustafa O

      Pakistan still provides better basic health facilities compared to india. Wonder why indians are more malnutritioned. A frustrated reaponse is expected from an indian.

  • U

    @admin: arent helis a better option for such operations? They can lift the injured from the field and directly land on a Hospital. I dont think the potential combat or disaster zones are so far from major hospitals that an injured can not be transfered through helis. I believe MEDIVAC helis are best for such jobs.
    You have also mentioned that it would be interesting if Pak picks up general cargo and ISr versions of the aircraft, again aren’t helis best for general cargo? I do not understand ISR much so cant comment on that.

    • Depends. Although helicopters can land in unprepared areas and can be used for MEDEVAC, a fixed-wing aircraft could travel faster. You may not simply depend on one kind of aircraft to save a human life, it could be helicopter to fixed-wing to helicopter, depending on the severity of the problem and urgency to resolve it.

  • kashif sheikh

    every pakistani who go for medical treatment to india he never comeback or comeback as a dead pakistani are foolish people who believe in their enemies india is our enemy a toiletless country.

  • Sami Shahid

    perfect aircraft !

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