Thursday, 27 April 2017

Argentina buys four Beechcraft T-6C+ Texan II valued at USD88.2 million

Argentina procures T-6C+ Texan II turboprop trainer and light-attack aircraft

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

26 April 2017

Argentina has procured four Beechcraft T-6C+ Texan II turboprop trainer and light-attack aircraft under a contract valued at USD88.2 million, it was announced on 25 April.

The contract, which was awarded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) scheme, will see the aircraft delivered to the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina: FAA) by 30 April 2018. Included in the deal are maintenance and pilot training, as well as interim contractor support for maintenance.

The contract follows US State Department approval for the sale of up to 24 T-6C+ aircraft that was announced in August 2016. At that time, it was said the estimated USD300 million procurement deal was needed to replace the FAA's Embraer EMB-312 Tucanos, only a handful of which are still in an airworthy condition.

According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the proposed sale would "revitalise Argentina's capability to train its pilots and fulfill border control missions, especially along its porous northern border. The Argentine Air Force will use the enhanced capability to redevelop a professional pilot corps and as a deterrent to illicit activity."

According to Jane's All the World's Aircraft: Development and Production , the T-6 has a top speed of 270 kt, an endurance of three hours at maximum cruise speed, a range of 1,574 km, and a service ceiling of 35,000 ft.

The T-6C features an integrated 'glass' cockpit and advanced avionics, including head-up display, up-front control panel, three-colour multifunction displays, and HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) controls. It differs from the standard T-6B in having wings that are plumbed for the carriage of auxiliary fuel tanks. The enhanced T-6C+ variant procured by Argentina (and previously Mexico) is also capable of carrying up to a payload of 1,415 kg of external stores.

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