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US cleared to complete T-6C sale to Argentina

A 30-day Congressional notification period has closed on a proposed sale of 24 Beechcraft T-6C Texan trainers to the Argentine air force, clearing the way for the US government and industry officials to complete negotiations on the estimated $300 million deal.

Coming only two months after the final delivery to the US Navy under the 20-year-old Joint Primary Aircraft Training Systems (JPATS) programme, the proposed T-6 sale to Buenos Aires offers a timely lifeline to the T-6C production line in Wichita, Kansas.

“We look forward to continuing our conversations with Argentina to offer the Beechcraft T-6C military trainer,” Beechcraft says.

By late June, Beechcraft had delivered more than 400 T-6 Texan IIs to the US Air Force and nearly 300 to the Navy, replacing an aging fleet of Cessna T-37s and Beechcraft T-34s. The company also has received a recent order from the UK Ministry of Defence to supply T-6 trainers for replacing Embraer Tucanos.

Argentina appears to have selected the T-6C over the EMB-314 Super Tucano, which is manufactured in neighbouring Brazil. Embraer declined to comment on the announced proposed sale of T-6s to Argentina.

T-6C can be operated as an advanced trainer and a light attack aircraft.

Argetina’s air force operates a training fleet comprised of Embraer Tucanos and jet-powered FAdeA IA-63 Pampas. It also uses the IA-63 and the FAdeA IA-58 Pucara in light attack roles.

In related news, the state-owned FAdeA completed first flight in mid-August of the IA-100, a primary trainer powered by a piston engine.

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