This combat Cessna can shoot Hellfire missiles
Cessna’s are not the sexiest or most frightening aircraft, but there is a variant that could sneak towards an enemy relatively quietly and from low altitude before blowing that enemy away with two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
The AC-208 Combat Caravan is a modified version of the civilian C-208 that is used for everything from commercial air travel to science research to air ambulances.
The Combat Caravan contains additional sensors and a laser-designator for targets, as well as two points for mounting Hellfire missiles. It also has defensive measures such as ballistic panels and a flare system.
Weapon pylons hold the Hellfire missile, either the laser-designated AGM-114M or the “fire-and-forget” AGM-114K that uses its own radar to stay on target.
The ground-attack aircraft is in service with the Iraqi Air Force. It first engaged in combat in 2014, striking ISIS targets near Ramadi and Fallujah.
The Iraqi Air Force originally purchased three of the AC-208s and three C-208s with reconnaissance capabilities but has been buying them at a decent clip since. One of the AC-208s crashed near Kirkuk, Iraq, in 2016, but the Iraqi Air Force still has eight and is asking to buy two more.
Other militaries have purchased the Combat Caravan. The planes are in service in Afghanistan, Argentina, Honduras, Kenya, and other countries — typically flying ground-attack and reconnaissance missions against Islamic extremists.
While the AC-208 is not the beefiest of ground-attack aircraft, it does give a lethal capability with relatively little training and infrastructure requirements. This allows air forces with smaller budgets to get Hellfires in the air for use against enemy forces.
6 memes that immortalize the now-grounded 'sky dick' aircrew
These patriots took part in a time-honored tradition of letting the citizens of an area know they were under the protection of the United States military.
6 misconceptions civilians have about the Army
"Oh! You're in the Army? My friend's brother is in the Navy, so I know all about it." This, and many other conversations to avoid this holiday season.
This whiskey pays homage to the men of the 10th Mountain Division
The founders of a spirits company found a way to pay homage to those men who helped defeat the Nazi by handcrafting 10th Mountain Whiskey in their honor.
6 reasons 'Full Metal Jacket' should have been about Animal Mother
"Full Metal Jacket" is epic, but did you ever wonder how different the film would be if it followed Animal Mother instead of Joker? Well, we did.
US Navy helps search for submarine lost for nearly a week
On November 19th, the United States Navy joined NASA and other countries in the search for an Argentinian submarine that went missing November 15th.
Sexual assault at Fort Bragg up 28 percent over last year
A summary released by the Department of Defense shows reports of sexual assault from Fort Bragg increased by 28 percent in 2016 over the year before.
ISIS' last town in Iraq falls to Iraqi security forces
Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led coalition retook Rawah on Nov. 17, the last town in the country that was held by the Islamic State group.
Why Chinese bombers suddenly flew so close to Okinawa
China just sent a set of H-6 bombers and and intelligence gathering aircraft through international airspace between Okinawa and Miyoko. Here's why.
That time Politifact took Duffel Blog seriously
Duffel Blog finally holds their heads up high as the "The American military's Most Trusted news source" was given the dubious honors of being ranked as "Pants on Fire" by Politifact.