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Textron ahead of schedule in completing RTAF T-6TH trainer aircraft order

RTAF Air Chief Marshal Chanon Mungthanya, after a flight in one of the T-6 aircraft Thailand has ordered from Textron Aviation Defense. (Textron Aviation Defense LLC)

Textron Defense announced on 18 November 2021 that the 12 Beechcraft T-6TH Texan II turboprop-powered trainer aircraft it is currently manufacturing for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) are nearing completion. Textron revealed the aircraft have passed technical inspection checkpoints ahead of schedule. The RTAF made the order in September 2020 in a deal worth USD162 million, which included the aircraft as a part of an integrated training package.

Textron Defense received a Thai Air Force aircraft acceptance committee at its manufacturing site at Wichita, Kansas, earlier in November 2021 that included RTAF Air Chief Marshal Chanon Mungthanya. An F-16 pilot himself, during the visit ACM Mungthanya flew one of the completed aircraft. “Flying the RTAF Beechcraft T-6TH Texan II from the hangar where the entire global fleet of T-6 aircraft are manufactured was a very memorable milestone,” he said.

Thai T-6TH aircraft are based on the T-6C Texan II variant and provide a flying experience which allows student pilots to progress on to Thailand's T-50TH Lead in Fighter Trainer aircraft. The aircraft are equipped with an integrated glass cockpit, a headup display, and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls. It is also likely the aircraft have hardpoints in the wings for external fuel tanks and training munitions. The T-6TH deal includes the 12 aircraft, a ground-based training system for student pilots and maintenance crews, a mission planning and debrief system, spare parts, and the necessary ground support equipment.

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