Thai air force to spend billions on new fleet of light attack aircraftbackground-defaultbackground-default

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MONDAY, May 29, 2023
Thai air force to spend billions on new fleet of light attack aircraft

Thai air force to spend billions on new fleet of light attack aircraft

MONDAY, November 15, 2021

The Royal Thai Airforce (RTAF) on Sunday signed a US$143 million (4.68 billion baht) procurement deal with US military aircraft manufacturer, Textron Aviation Defence, on the first day of the Dubai Airshow.

Under the deal, eight Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft, ground support equipment, spare parts and other equipment will be procured for the 41st Wing light attack operations in Chiang Mai.


“RTAF pilots and concerned parties found the attributes of the AT-6 procurement programme very favourable,” said Air Marshall Pongsawat Jantasarn, who chairs the procurement committee. “It will also benefit both Thai and US interests, strengthening the enduring strategic partnership between our nations.”

The Beechcraft AT-6TH is the second RTAF procurement in support of the S-Curve 11 strategy, which aims to develop Thailand’s domestic defence industry.

The first procurement under the new strategy was the Beechcraft T-6TH Texan II in 2020.

Textron Aviation Defence will train RTAF maintenance professionals in Thailand in 2023, while pilot training is set to begin in Wichita in 2024. The Beechcraft AT-6TH will join the Royal Thai fleet in 2024.

“We are honoured the Royal Thai Air Force has 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 Defence.

“The RTAF is a key US security ally and operator of one of the most advanced air forces in Asia-Pacific. Its extensive market research and stringent procurement process sought the alignment of best cost, schedule, and performance to replace its existing fleet of ageing Aero L-39 Albatros aircraft and advance the capabilities of its fleet with the latest technology.”

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