Textron Finds New Special-missions Role for Latitude

 - April 22, 2020, 12:11 PM
Two of three Cessna Citation Latitudes configured for flight inspections have been delivered to the Japan Air Self Defense Force. (Photo: Textron Aviation)

Textron Aviation has delivered two Cessna Citation Latitudes to Japan that are configured for flight inspection missions, the Wichita-based airframer announced this week. They are part of a three-airplane order from the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) made in September 2017.

Kanematsu Corp. has received the pair of midsize twins that will be owned and operated by the JASDF to scrutinize instrument approaches and airway procedures in the country’s national airspace. The Flight Checker Squadron based at Iruma Air Base in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo will operate the Latitudes, which are outfitted with Unifis 3000 Flight Inspection System equipment from Norwegian Special Mission. A third Latitude for the JASDF is expected to be delivered early next year.

In addition to these flight inspection aircraft, Textron has also configured a Latitude for medevac operations for Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance.

Separately, Textron announced an order last November from the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau for a specially equipped Citation Longitude to also perform flight inspections in that country. The modified Longitude, expected to be delivered next year, will be equipped with Unifis 3000-G2 flight inspection equipment for critical verification of navigation aids such as instrument landing system (ILS) category I, II, and III approaches; ground-based augmentation system (GBAS); very-high-frequency omnidirectional range (VOR); and tactical air navigation (Tacan).