Hawker Beechcraft has completed delivery of the first 12 of 24 T-6C turboprop trainer aircraft to the type’s first export customer, the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF).
The T-6C is an improved version of the T-6B Texan II featuring key upgrades such as an integrated glass cockpit, advanced avionics suite and wing hard-points that can accommodate auxiliary fuel tanks or bombs. The RMAF ordered the airplanes under a US$185.3 million contract announced in September 2009.
“We are right on track with production for the RMAF, our first international customer for the T-6C,” said Jim Maslowski, Hawker Beechcraft president for US and International Government Business in July last year. “The T-6C will greatly reduce the RMAF’s training costs and provide them with a platform that will prepare their pilots to operate modern military aircraft.”
A first batch of four T-6Cs to Morocco were delivered in January.
The T-6C is replacing the turboprop Beechcraft T-34 Mentor and Cessna T-37 Tweet jet trainer in RMAF service. The upgraded avionics include a head-up display, up front control panel, three multifunction displays and hands-on-throttle-and-stick controls. “This equipment mirrors the systems and capabilities of today’s front-line strike fighter aircraft, while retaining all the inherent training and flying characteristics “that have made the T-6 the most successful primary trainer in the world,” Hawker Beechcraft says.
In addition to the 24 aircraft, the government-to-government agreement includes aircraft ferry services, site survey, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, facility infrastructure support, personnel training and training equipment, and other related elements of technical and logistics support.
The wikipedia notes the T-6 is a development of the Swiss Pilatus PC-9.