Long lead contract award for Tunisia T-6C trainers

Textron Aviation Defense has been awarded a US$12.5m firm-fixed-price, undefinitised contract action for the procurement of long lead items and site survey for Tunisia’s T-6C Texan procurement programme.

The contract is linked to a 2019 approval given by the US State Department for the possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Tunisia of 12 T-6C trainer aircraft plus associated equipment and support for an estimated cost at the time of US$234m.

UK RAF T-6C Texan
Tunisia is looking to follow a number of countries, such as the UK, in opting for the T-6C Texan for military flight training. UK MOD/Crown copyright

The recent June 11 announcement by the US Department of Defense for T-6C long lead items involves FMS funding of over US$6.2m to be obligated at the time of award, with work expected to be completed in October 2022.

In the October 2019 announcement of the possible sale to Tunisia, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the proposed sale would support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the defence capabilities and capacity of a non-NATO ally.

Further, the DSCA stated the potential sale would provide additional opportunities for bilateral engagements and strengthen the bilateral relationship between the US and Tunisia.

The T-6C programme is not the only potential procurement of US-manufactured fixed-wing military aircraft by Tunisia. In February 2020, the DSCA revealed that the US State Department had also approved the possible FMS of four AT-6C Wolverine light attack aircraft to Tunisia at an estimated cost of US$325.8m.

The contract would include the four AT-6C aircraft, in addition to 468 Mk81 250lb general purpose bombs; 48 Mk82 500lb bombs; 3,290 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rockets and six L-3 WESCAM MX 15D Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems, among other equipment. The prime contractor was, again, Textron Aviation Defense.

Widely exported as a military training aircraft, the T-6C Texan variants are in service with the UK Royal Air Force (pictured), the Moroccan Royal Air Force and the Colombian Air Force, among others.