The contract includes other equipment and services in support of the RTAF’s Integrated Training System: “ground-based training systems for pilots and maintenance professionals, a mission planning and debrief system, spare parts and ground support equipment.” Work on all these elements of the contract will take place at Textron Aviation Defense’s location in Wichita, Kansas.
“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.”
“We’re proud to equip the Royal Thai Air Force with the world’s most proven off-the-shelf training capability in the industry,” said Brett Pierson, vice president of Textron Aviation Defense Strategy and Sales. The 12 Texan IIs—dubbed the T–6TH in Thailand—are planned to enter the RTAF fleet between late 2022 and early 2023. Plans are to fly two of the airplanes to Thailand, crating and shipping the remaining 10 to Kamphaeng Saen.
“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,” Textron Aviation Defense said. “Each year more than 300 pilots from 42 nations graduate from T–6 training via the NATO Flight Training Program in Canada, the Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program 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.” More than 2,700 other pilots graduate from T–6 programs in the Greek, Argentine, Israeli, U.K., Iraqi, Canadian, Moroccan, and New Zealand air forces, as well as the Mexican Navy and Air Force.