Textron Aviation Defense announced on September 28 that it will supply 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II training aircraft to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), with deliveries scheduled to begin in late 2022.
The contract - worth US$162m - will deliver an integrated training system to the RTAF Flying Training School at Kamphaeng Saen air base in central Thailand. It includes ground-based training for pilots and maintenance professionals, a mission planning and debrief system and ground support equipment. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2022 and conclude in early 2023.
Thomas Webster, regional director of Textron Aviation Defense's Asia Pacific Sales, said: "The [RTAF] operates one of the most advanced air forces in Asia Pacific and is a key US security ally. Their acquisition of the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II integrated training system empowers their cadre of student pilots with a technological advantage throughout their flight training and prepares them for a successful transition to advanced fighter and attack aircraft."
The first two aircraft will be ferried by air to Thailand from Textron's facility in Wichita, Kansas. The remaining ten Texans will be dismantled and transported in crates to Kamphaeng Saen air base. In Thai service, the T-6C Texan II will be designated the T-6TH, and pilot training on the type will initially take place in Wichita from 2022.
Variants of the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II family are in currently operational with the air arms of Argentina, Canada, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, the UK and the US. In October 2019, the US State Department also approved the possible Foreign Military Sale of the type to Tunisia.