Textron Aviation Defense announced on November 14, the first day of the Dubai Air Show, that it has signed up the Royal Thai Air Force RTAF) as the international launch customer for the Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine. The $143 million contract will provide an integrated system including eight Wolverine aircraft, ground support equipment, spare parts, training and other equipment.
The aircraft will support the light attack operations of the RTAF’s 41st Wing at Chiang Mai Air Base. Thomas Hammoor, president and chief executive officer of Textron Aviation Defense, said: “We are honored the Royal Thai Air Force has competitively selected the Beechcraft AT-6 to conduct a broad array of missions in support of its border security and its anti-smuggling, counter-narcotics and anti-human trafficking operations.” The AT-6s, locally designated the AT-6TH, will replace the L-39ZA/ART Albatros aircraft currently operated by the RTAF’s 41 Wing/411 Squadron.
Textron Aviation Defense training of RTAF maintenance professionals is set to begin in Thailand in 2023, while pilot training is set to begin in Wichita, Kansas, in 2024. The Beechcraft AT-6TH will join the RTAF fleet in 2024.
The RTAF had previously selected the Beechcraft T-6TH Texan II for operation by the RTAF Flying Training School at Kamphaeng Saen Air Base. Textron Aviation Defense announced a contract on September 28, 2020, for 12 of these aircraft to replace the Pilatus PC-9 for its training requirements.