Two new King Air Surveillance aircraft will enhance Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) search and rescue requirements

2Excel Aviation has launched a five year surveillance service and aircraft concept for the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to support search and rescue and a variety of ocean-based requirements.

The two new King Air Surveillance Aircraft will be ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The aircraft are designed to supplement and enhance the MCA’s life saving search and rescue, law enforcement, fisheries and pollution detection capabilities. The King Airs are operated by 2Excel’s Special Missions division based at Doncasted-Sheffield airport.

Eight months from contract to first mission

Arnie Palmer, Director of 2Excel Special Missions said: “At 2Excel we are highly skilled at quickly delivering complex concepts into capabilities and this contract with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is a shining example of that.”

Palmer added it had taken just eight months from MCA contracting 2Excel to flying the mission in the King Air. “The work drew on expertise across 2Excel, including our Capability Development team – from integrated design, manufacturing and installation of the specialist mission equipment – to training our crews to operate the aeroplane.”

“This prestigious contract is great news for the airport and local economy and has created a number of jobs in the aviation sector. Our facility at Doncaster-Sheffield Airport was chosen as the operating base due to its central location and 24-hour operating hours, which means we can deploy at short notice anywhere in the UK Exclusive Economic Zone.”

Aircraft is designed for multi-agency communications

Based on the Beech King Air 200, the aircraft is fitted with a multi-spectral surveillance suite and co-ordinated through an integrated mission control system. Equipment includes the latest Leonardo radar system, HD Electro-Optical sensor turret, IR/UV line scanner and search and rescue (SAR) direction finder.

The level of integration signification increases crew situational awareness while reducing operator workload. Integrated broadband satellite date and voice connectivity plus line of sight broadband voice communications are an enabling capability designed for multi-agency communications and providing search command and control to the MCA and its partner agencies.
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