US Orders M28 Skytruck Transport Aircraft for Nepal
The US Air Force has awarded a contract to Polish firm PZL Mielec to produce and deliver two M28 Skytruck transport aircraft to Nepal.
Valued at $30.3 million, the light cargo planes will replace the only M28 in service with the Nepalese Air Force.
According to the US Department of Defense, the company will also provide associated aircraft training, spare parts, and six months of field service representative services.
Work for the contract will be carried out in southeastern Poland and is expected to be complete by April 2025.
In 2019, the US also bought an M28 Skytruck transport aircraft for Nepal under a $19-million agreement.
The M28 Skytruck
An improved version of the Antonov An-28, the M28 Skytruck is a twin-engine, short take-off and landing aircraft originally designed for the Polish Air Force.
It can take off and land from unpaved ground landing sites, making it suitable for Nepal’s short, high-altitude runways.
Additionally, it has a semi-monocoque hull that allows for the installation of cargo loads, landing equipment, passenger seats, and special equipment operator stands.
The M28 can carry up to three crew members and 18 military personnel at a maximum speed of 350 kilometers (217 miles) per hour.
Apart from cargo transport, the aircraft can support a variety of missions, including maritime patrol, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation.
It can also be used to airdrop equipment or transport small infiltration units.