MilitaryTunisian Air Force set to receive T-6 trainers and AT-6C light attack...

Tunisian Air Force set to receive T-6 trainers and AT-6C light attack aircraft

The Tunisian Air Force is about to take delivery of eight T-6 Texan II trainers from Textron Aviation Defence next it ordered in 2019.

The deal approved in October 2019 by the US State Department is estimated at $234 million, for eight T-6C trainers.

The United States Department of Defence announced earlier this year that Textron Aviation Defence was awarded a $12 million contract for “long-lead items and an in-country basing survey for the eight T-6 II trainers for the Tunisian Air Force.”

The T-6 is a variant of the Swiss Pilatus PC-9 turboprop trainer, and the C-model is a further development of the T-6A Texan II with an integrated glass cockpit, advanced avionics suite, and wet-plumbed hard-point wings for auxiliary fuel tanks

Textron Aviation Defence will complete the work by October 2022 when the T-6Cs are delivered.

Tunisia also ordered four AT-6C Wolverine light attack aircraft worth an estimated $325 million, the sale on 25 February 2020.

To reduce logistical overhead, both the T-6C and AT-6 share an 85% commonality in structure, avionics, and other systems.

The T-6C aircraft will help Tunisian pilots carry out their basic training currently being done on SF-260 aircraft before being moved to the jet-powered Aero L-59Ts for the lead-in fighter training.

Similarly, the four AT-6C Wolverine light attack aircraft “will improve Tunisia’s ability to meet current and future threats by increasing their capability and capacity to counter-terrorism and other violent extremist organization threats. The AT-6 platform will bolster its capacity to respond to and engage threats in multiple areas across the country. Additionally, the procurement of the AT-6 aircraft strengthens interoperability between Tunisia, regional allies, and the United States.”

The AT-6C business also includes 468 Mk 81 250 lb bombs, 48 Mk 82 500 lb bombs, 3 290 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) rockets, two spare Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68D 1600 shp engines, six L-3 WESCAM MX 15D Multi-Spectral Targeting System, six 12.7 mm machineguns as well as other equipment and training.

The Wolverine is equipped with an MX-15D multi-sensor suite with color and infrared cameras, a laser designator, a laser illuminator, and a laser rangefinder for accurate targeting in all weather conditions.

Ekene Lionel
Ekene Lionel is an author for The Aviator Africa, covering military aviation. He has worked as a journalist and defense tech writer for 5 years, much of that time focusing on military and emerging technologies.

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