Tunisian trainer deliveries begin

Textron Aviation has begun deliveries of eight Beechcraft T-6C Texan II trainers to the Tunisian Air Force, further consolidating US-Tunisia security cooperation.

Beechcraft T-6C Texan II N1

LANDING PARTY: Delivery of the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II N1. Image: Tunisian Ministry of Defence

The first four T-6Cs were delivered in July 2023, following the signing in 2020 of a military sales contract between Textron and the USA government, underlining America’s commitment to supporting Tunisia's security and humanitarian needs.

The acquisition of these training aircraft is an integral part of Tunisia's aviation modernisation plans up to 2030 and involves training the next generation of Tunisian air force pilots; developing interoperability with USA and NATO; and strengthening national security.

“Becoming a regional leader in excellence in military flight training is one of our steps on the path to delivering counterterrorism and border security missions,” explained General Mohamed Hajjem, chief of staff of the Tunisian Air Force.

Assigned to 13-squadron of the Tunisian Air Force at Sfax air base, the T-6Cs will help strengthen the security of the country's southern border and thwart cross-border smuggling as well as terrorism.

According to Brett Pierson, CEO of Textron Aviation Defence, the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is now a benchmark in training capabilities. “Our world-class workforce goes above and beyond to design, manufacture, deliver and support these flight training aircraft.”

The T-6C fleet will replace the country’s ageing Czech-built Aero L-59T Super Albatros trainers.

Among other things, the contract includes field service and logistical support; programme management support; pilot training; a flight simulator/computerised training; maintenance personnel; and engines and spare parts.

The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engined turboprop basic trainer aircraft based on the Swiss Pilatus PC-9 and examples are in service with the USAF, US Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force; the Argentinian Air Force; the Moroccan Air Force; and the Greek Air Force. There are currently more than 850 aircraft in service worldwide.

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.