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US plans to deliver four light ISR planes to Jordan for border surveillance missions

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - United States
 
 
US plans to deliver four light ISR planes to Jordan for border surveillance missions
 
US plans to deliver four small ISR aircraft to the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces, the USAF announced in a "Justification and Approval document" on Oct. 21, 2015. According to this J&A document, the four aircraft are now heading to a new home with the RJAF. The 645th Aeronautical Systems Group and defense contractor L-3 Communications are to fit powerful cameras and other gear onto four heavily modified AT-802 crop-dusters originally purchased for Yemen.
     
US plans to send four ISR planes to Jordan for border patrolling missions 640 001Jordan already received six modified AT-802 aircraft from UAE in 2013
     
The US Air Force ordered accelerated delivery of the planes, which Amman requested to help it seek and destroy ISIS threats on both sides of the border.

"These four aircraft are urgently needed to eliminate a combat capability deficiency, which is likely to result in combat fatalities. This effort is a follow-on to contract FA8620-14-C-3020 that was for the procurement and modification of four Green AT-802 Aircraft, training and initial spares for USCENTCOM to deliver to the U.S. Security Cooperation Organization in Yemen originally directed by SAF/AQ [the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition] in a Letter of Direction (LOD) from SAF/AQ received on 2 Dec 13.

As a result, a Letter of Direction from SAF/AQ was signed and received by 645 AESG on 21 May 15 re-directing the 645 AESG to continue contractual actions for the modification of four JSR fixed-wing aircraft and deliver to Jordan in lieu of Yemen in order to bolster CT efforts. Additionally, the LOD stated that this [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] initiative is a counter-terrorism priority for USCENTCOM. The final congressional approval to proceed with this requirement was received 19 Aug 15," the USAF announced in the Justification document.

These four aircraft will join six other upgraded AT-802s Jordan received from the United Arab Emirates in 2013. Modified by North Carolina-based company IOMAX, those earlier aircraft, dubbed S2R-660 Archangel, also had the ability to carry guided missiles and smart bombs.

"The shortest estimated time necessary to conduct a competition would be three to four months from receipt of funding, which was not received until late Aug 15. With a required delivery date no-later -than 31 Mar 16 and a 12 month delivery schedule anticipated, the contract needs to be awarded by 30 Sep 15. Holding any type of competition would make it impossible to meet that schedule. L-3 PID is the only practicable source that can meet the urgent requirement to train and deliver the four aircraft in time to meet the aggressive delivery schedule," added the USAF.

Between 2006 and 2014, the Pentagon had delivered more than $500 million worth of military aid from helicopters to gloves to Jordan.