Israel will during February receive its first Beechcraft T-6A Texan II trainer, with the type having recently dubbed "Efroni" by its air force.
To be operated from the air force's flying academy at Hazerim airbase, the T-6A fleet will enable the service to begin phasing out its aged Zukit (Fouga CM-170) jet trainers, 35 of which are in use, according to Flight's MiliCAS database. Deliveries of its 25 new aircraft will continue until late 2010, with its acquisition also including the provision of two simulators.
The air force formally selected the T-6A last June, after rejecting suggestions to extend operations of the Zukit fleet until Israel Aerospace Industries could produce a military variant of the Aviation Technology Group Javelin very light jet, the development of which was suspended in late 2007.
© US Air Force
Israel's introduction of the T-6A follows previous orders for the type from the US Air Force/Navy (USAF example pictured above), and export customers Canada and Greece. Morocco in late 2007 outlined its intention to buy 24 enhanced T-6Bs, while Iraq last month requested the purchase of 20 A-model trainers via the US government's Foreign Military Sales mechanism.
Additional reporting by Craig Hoyle
Source: Flight International