The Royal Thai Air Force has purchased 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II trainer aircraft, as well as spare parts, training and support services, for $162 million from Textron Aviation Defense.

The single-engined turboprop and the training services will support operations at the Royal Thai Air Force Flying Training School, at Kamphaeng Saen air base, Textron said on 28 September. The contract also includes ground-based training systems for pilots and maintenance professionals, a mission-planning and debrief system, and ground-support equipment.

The two-seat T-6C Texan IIs – called the T-6TH by the Royal Thai Air Force – are expected to arrive in Thailand in late 2022 and early 2023, says Textron. The company says it plans to ferry two of the 12 aircraft to the country, while crating and freighting the other 10 examples.

“The Royal Thai Air Force operates one of the most advanced air forces in Asia-Pacific and is a key US security ally,” says Thomas Webster, regional director of Textron Aviation Defense Asia-Pacific sales. “Their acquisition of the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II Integrated Training System empowers their cadre of student pilots with a technological advantage throughout their flight training and prepares them for a successful transition to advanced fighter and attack aircraft.”

Textron’s training of Royal Thai Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel is scheduled to start in Wichita, Kansas, in 2022.