Thailand Orders 8 Beechcraft AT-6 Light Strike Aircraft from Textron Aviation

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:40 AM, November 19, 2021
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Thailand Orders 8 Beechcraft AT-6 Light Strike Aircraft from Textron Aviation
Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine light strike aircraft

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) became the international launch customer of Textron Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine light strike aircraft which will join the RTAF fleet in 2024.

The Thai government will be paying 4.6 billion baht ($143 million) for eight aircraft which will be based at the 41st Wing light attack operations at Chiang Mai Air Base. The signing of the contract was announced to the Nasdaq Stock Market last week.

Textron Aviation Defense LLC said in a November 18 release that the contract — for eight Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft, ground support equipment, spare parts, training and other equipment — establishes Thailand as the international launch customer for the USAF’s latest light attack aircraft. The work in support of this procurement will take place at the company’s Wichita, Kansas facilities.

“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,” said Thomas Hammoor, president and chief executive officer of Textron Aviation Defense LLC.

The Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft will replace its existing fleet of aging Aero L-39 Albatros aircraft.

Thailand Orders 8 Beechcraft AT-6 Light Strike Aircraft from Textron Aviation
Thailand AT-6 Procurement

The contract for the AT-6 — designated the Beechcraft AT-6TH in Thailand —also contributes to the growth of Thailand’s aerospace industry detailed in the 10-year Royal Thai Air Force Purchase and Development (P&D) Plan, complies with requirements set forth by the Thai National Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC) and empowers RTAF light attack aircrew with a vital technological advantage.

The contract signing, witnessed by RTAF Air Chief Marshal Chanon Mungthanya, aligns the procurement with the Thai government’s S-Curve 11 strategy — a program that pioneers development of the Thai domestic defense industry, cultivates diversity and supports involvement across foreign and Thai companies.

The Beechcraft AT-6TH becomes the second RTAF procurement contracted in support of S-Curve 11. The first procurement under the new strategy was the Beechcraft T-6TH Texan II, awarded in 2020. The Ministry of Defense supports the S-Curve 11 strategy and the two procurements.

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 in 2024.

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