28 September 2020, Wichota, Kasnas, USA
Royal Thai Air Force equips pilot cadre with advanced training program, awards Textron Aviation Defense with a $162M contract for 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II aircraft, training, spares and support services
Textron Aviation Defense LLC today announced a $162 million contract with the Royal Thai Air Force for an Integrated Training System in support of operations at the Royal Thai Air Force Flying Training School at Kamphaeng Saen air base. The contract is for 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II advanced military training aircraft, ground-based training systems for pilots and maintenance professionals, a mission planning and debrief system, spare parts and ground support equipment. The work in support of this contract will take place at the company’s Wichita, Kansas facilities. Textron Aviation Defense LLC is a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
“The Royal Thai Air Force operates one of the most advanced air forces in Asia Pacific and is a key U.S. security ally,” said Thomas Webster, regional director of Textron Aviation Defense Asia Pacific Sales. “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 Beechcraft T-6 Texan II acquisition is in accordance with the 10-year Royal Thai Air Force Purchase and Development (P&D) Plan published in the RTAF White Paper 2020. The plan focuses on the modernization of key capabilities and promoting the development of the Thai defense industry.
“This program is a leap towards the new perspective of the Thai government to support the local defence industry, not only to procure a new trainer,” said ACM Maanat Wongwat, Commander in Chief, The Royal Thai Air Force. “This program seeks the involvement between diverse partners, primarily between foreign and Thai local companies, which has been driven by the government’s current strategy “S-Curve 11.”
Textron Aviation Defense training of Royal Thai Air Force pilots and maintenance professionals is set to begin in Wichita in 2022 while the 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II aircraft — christened the T-6TH in Thailand — are expected to join the Royal Thai fleet between late 2022 and early 2023. Textron Aviation Defense plans to ferry two of the 12 aircraft to Thailand, crating and transporting the remaining 10 aircraft to Kamphaeng Saen air base.
“We’re proud to equip the Royal Thai Air Force with the world’s most proven off-the-shelf training capability in the industry,” noted Brett Pierson, vice president of Textron Aviation Defense Strategy & Sales. “The Royal Thai Air Force will now have an affordable, low-risk next-generation military trainer designed for all levels of instruction, enabling a steady tempo of flight students transitioning from Pilot-In-Training to Pilot-In-Command. I know the legendary T-6 will support the Royal Thai Air Force with long-term reliability, cost-effective operations and a fully integrated array of simulators, computer-based academics and sustainable logistics.”
To date, the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II has logged more than 4.1 million flight hours across a global fleet of nearly 1,000 aircraft. Each year more than 300 pilots from 42 countries graduate from T-6 training via the NATO Flight Training program in Canada, the Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT) at Sheppard AFB in Texas and the U.S. Air Force Aviation Leadership Program. Another 2,000-plus pilots graduate from T-6 programs across the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Coast Guard while more than 2,700 pilots graduate from T-6 programs across the Hellenic Air Force, the Argentine Air Force, the Israeli Air Force, the U.K. Royal Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, Mexican Navy, the Mexican Air Force, the Royal Moroccan Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Source and photo: Textron