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Sun, Aug 13, 2023

Tunisian Air Force Takes Delivery of 8th T-6 Texan II

Capable Textron Turboprop Training North African Pilots

Textron Aviation Defense—the military facet of the aviation division of U.S. technology conglomerate Textron—has announced the arrival of the eighth Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop aircraft in support of Tunisian Air Force pilot training at Tunisia’s Sfax Air Base’s No. 13 Squadron.

Textron Aviation Defense was previously awarded a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract encompassing eight T-6C Texan II advanced military training aircraft, in-country field service and logistics support representatives, program management support, interim contractor support for the agreement’s first year, pilot and maintainer training, spare engines, spare parts, and aircraft support equipment.

Textron Aviation Defense CEO Brett Pierson stated: “It’s an honor to celebrate the induction of the Beechcraft T-6C into Tunisian Air Force pilot production. The world’s most advanced global air forces and pilots trust us to deliver a great aircraft that enables them to make the world a better, more secure place. Our world-class workforce goes above and beyond to design, manufacture, deliver and support the world’s premier military flight trainer. It is an honor that partner nations continue to put their confidence in the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II as the gold standard in training capabilities.”

Speaking at a July 2023 event marking the arrival of the first four T-6C aircraft, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia Joey R. Hood set forth: “Tunisia plays an important role in ensuring not only its own national security but also that of northern Africa and the continent as a whole.”

Purpose-built for effective rudimentary an advanced flight-training, the T-6C Texan II’s durability and forgiving flight-characteristics contemporaneously challenge and reward pilot trainees whilst providing instructor pilots sufficient power and maneuverability to ensure cadets are well and truly prepared to handle the more powerful and complex aircraft into which they will ultimately transition.

An evolution of Pilatus’s PC-9 modified by Beechcraft to enter the USAF’s Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) competition of the 1990s, Textron Aviation’s T-6C Texan II is a low-wing monoplane incorporating a conventional tail with a single vertical stabilizer-rudder assembly, and a fixed, fuselage-mounted horizontal stabilizer fitted with a trailing-edge elevator. The aircraft’s undercarriage is of the retractable, tricycle variety. The Texan II’s airframe comprises primarily composite materials and is stressed to positive and negative G-limits of 7.0 and 3.5 respectively. The aircraft is fitted with Martin-Baker Mark 16 ejection seats and a canopy fracturing system.

The T-6C Texan II is powered by a 1,100-shaft-horsepower PT6A-68 turboprop engine turning a 4-bladed Hartzell HC-E4A-2 Hub with E9612 blades of an eight-foot, one-inch diameter. Subject drivetrain motivates the 4,707-pound (empty) aircraft and its 1,793-pound maximum payload to a Vne of 316-knots (0.47 Mach), a cruise-speed of 280-knots, and a service-ceiling of FL310.

The AT-6—an iteration of the T-6C Texan II—along with Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano—is currently undergoing operational testing under the US Air Force’s Light-Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) program (also known as Light Air Support (LAS) or the OA-X program) which seeks to identify a suitable replacement for the USAF’s A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet.

FMI: www.defense.txtav.com

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