Textron Aviation’s defense division announced today (Nov. 8) it has delivered the first of eight Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop-single trainers to the Tunisian Air Force. The contract also calls for “in-country field service and logistics support representatives, program management support, interim contractor support for the first year, training for pilots and maintenance professionals, spare engines, spare parts and aircraft support equipment,” according to Textron.
The aircraft are slated to go to No. 13 (training) Squadron at Sfax Air Base in Tunisia, which has been equipped with Leonardo (formerly Siai Marchetti) SF-260C piston trainers and SF-260 “Warrior” combination trainer/attack aircraft since the mid- to late-1970s. No. 14 Squadron, also based at Sfax Air Base, has a similar mission.
Fouad Kasri, Textron Aviation Defense’s director of sales and strategy for Africa and the Middle East, said, “Tunisia is the 13th nation to acquire the T-6 and has now taken delivery of the 1,001st T-6 manufactured by our team in Wichita [Kansas]. We are delighted to welcome yet another North African and Mediterranean allied nation to the distinguished group of global air forces who rely on the next-generation T-6 Integrated Training System to achieve their pilot training objectives.”
Textron Aviation affiliate TRU Simulation and Training will supply related support services as well as training devices, including a ground-based training system, an operational flight trainer and a computer-based training lab.
The next Tunisian Air Force T-6C is expected to arrive in-country in late 2022, with the remaining six aircraft scheduled for delivery next year. The first Tunisian T-6C pilot candidates began training on Oct. 31 at Textron Aviation Defense facilities in Wichita.
Just curious about these aircraft in Tunisia, will they be retro-fitted for attack capabilities?