MC-12W / C-12 Huron

Product Type:

Military Special Mission Aircraft

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF) and Army

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Hawker Beechcraft

The C-12 Huron

About the C-12 Program:

The C-12 is the military version of the Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350 and Super King 350ER. It is a medium to low altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A turboprop engines with 1,050 shp each. It is mainly used to provide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) in support of ground forces. It is in service with both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.

U.S. Air Force MC-12W: The MC-12W aka the Liberty Project Aircraft (LPA) is the Air Force's multi-role, medium altitude aircraft system used to perform ISR missions coupled with a target acquisition capability. LPA was initiated to address ever-increasing requirements from combatant commanders to satisfy ISR shortfalls in operations overseas. The aircraft is equipped with an electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) sensor + other sensors depending on mission. The EO/IR sensor also includes a laser illuminator and designator. The MC-12W flew its first combat support sortie on June 12, 2009. The MC-12W avionics/communications hardware and modifications were provided by L-3 Communications.

U.S. Air Force C-12 Huron: The C-12 aircraft is used to transport cargo and passengers. The Air Force has a fleet 28 C-12 aircraft.

U.S. Army C-12 Huron: The C-12 aircraft platform hosts a number of Army Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance/Reconnaissance Surveillance and Target Acquisition (ISR/RSTA) sensor systems that support irregular warfare. Included in those systems are Red Ridge, Guardrail Common Sensor (GRCS), Aerial Reconnaissance Multi Sensor (ARMS), the Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems (MARSS), and Constant Hawk. The ARMS system is composed of C-12 aircraft equipped with imagery sensors, specialized COMINT sensors, and an array of line of sight and beyond line of sight communications equipment. The Army is developing plans to replace the C-12 with a similar type aircraft in 2018 and later as the C-12 is nearing the end of its useable life.




The price of a C-12 cargo aircraft is $7.69 million (in 2011).


To perform Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions coupled with a target acquisition capability.

FY 2012 DoD Program:

ARMY: FY 12 OCO procurement dollars in the amount of $10.50 million supports aircraft procurement for one aircraft to support ISR task force missions.

USAF: No aircraft procurement funding is currently requested or projected for FY 12. However, FY 2012 provides $35.85 million in funds for C-12 and MC-12W aircraft modifications.

FY 2013 DoD Program:

ARMY: No funds allocated for the C-12 in FY 2013.

USAF: Funds low-cost modifications and service bulletins for 28 C-12 C, D, F, and J aircraft. The aircraft service life is 30,000 hours with 22,000 hours remaining on the C-12D (6), 19,000 remaining on the C-12C (16), 17,000 on the C-12J (4) and 10,000 on the C-12F (2). Service bulletins and low cost modifications are necessary for continuing FAA certification while improving flight safety, reliability, and maintainability. For more information, click to view the FY 2013 C-12 Modification Budget. Also, FY 2013 funds in the amount of $17.1 million will be used to continue to address user requested modifications and service bulletins for fielded MC-12W aircraft. For more information, click to view the FY 2013 MC-12W Modification Budget

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Hawker Beechcraft

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY12/13 Budget

Last Update: November 30, 2012.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard /// (

External Resources:

Hawker Beechcraft: ISR Special Mission Aircraft

YouTube: C-12 Huron | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Not Available

C-12/MC-12W U.S. Def. Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the C-12/MC-12 in FY2011, FY2012 and FY2013
DoD Purchases of C-12/MC-12 Aircraft in FY2010, FY2011, FY2012 and FY2013
DoD Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011 + Budget for FY 2012 and FY 2013

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the C-12 Huron

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Purchases of C-12 Aircraft (USAF) Modification of C-12 Aircraft (USAF) Modification of MC-12W Aircraft (USAF)
Purchases of C-12 Aircraft (ARMY) Modification of C-12 Aircraft (ARMY)

Aircraft Specifications: MC-12W

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Primary Function: Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
Prime Contractor: Airframe: Hawker Beechcraft; Avionics/Communications: L-3 Communications
Power Plant: 2x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A turboprop engines with 1,050 shp (each engine)
Wingspan: 57 ft 11 in (17.65 m)
Length: 46 ft 8 in (14.22 m)
Height: 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Weight (Empty): 12,500 lbs (5,669 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 350: 15,000 lbs (6,804 kg); 350ER: 16,500 lbs (7,484 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 350: 3,611 lbs (1,638 kg); 350ER: 5,192 lbs (2,355 kg)
Speed: 312 kts/359 mph (578 km/h)
Range: 350: 1,500 nm/1,726 miles (2,778 km); 350ER: 2,400 nm/2,762 miles (4,445 km)
Ceiling: 35,000 ft (10,668 m)
Armament: none
Crew: Two pilots and two sensor operators
Price/Unit Cost: $17 million (aircraft + communications equipment modifications)
Deployed: Initial Operational Capability (IOC): June 2009


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