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Hawker Beechcraft King Airs enter fight

The Air Force’s newest acquisition — military versions of the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350 — flew its first combat sortie, according to Air Force magazine.

The aircraft, dubbed the MC-12W by the Air Force, is an intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance aircraft that provides support to ground troops. Its first mission took four hours and left from Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

It is equipped to collect intelligence signals and provide overhead live-streaming video in support of ground troops.

The Air Force is buying 37 of the aircraft, in what it calls the “Liberty Project.”