|Photo: Hawker Beechcraft|
Beechcraft Corp. is interested in possibly adding anti-submarine warfare to the list of special-mission capabilities of its King Air 350.The Defense News article also mentions the use of such aircraft in locating "drug subs" . .. .
According to a report from Defense News, the Wichita company has already been approached by several systems integrators about using the King Air as a platform aircraft for such missions.
There is interest in the type of anti-submarine warfare capability such an aircraft could provide as the use of smaller submarines — such as those of Iran — is increasing.
I'm guessing an ASW King Air would be less expensive (and admittedly, also would be less capable) than a P-8 Poseidon. On the other hand, they mostly would serve differing missions, wouldn't they?
Mini-submarine numbers are on the rise. United Arab Emirates Navy chief Rear Adm. Ibrahim al Musharrakh recently told the Gulf Naval Commanders Conference that Iranian midget submarines are an imminent threat they were looking to counter.
Drug smugglers are also known to use mini-subs to transport narcotics in places like Latin America.