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B4.6bn price tag for 8 new aircraft

BANGKOK: The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will pay B4.6 billion to buy eight aircraft from Textron Aviation Defense.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 18 November 2021, 09:50AM

Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine light attack planes. Photo: Textron via Bangkok Post

Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine light attack planes. Photo: Textron via Bangkok Post

The US defence contractor said it is selling eight Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft to the RTAF to support the 41st Wing light attack operations at Chiang Mai Air Base.

The signing of the contract, worth US$143 million (B4.6bn), was announced to the Nasdaq Stock Market on Sunday (Nov 14), reports the Bangkok Post. The contract also covers ground support equipment, spare parts, training and other equipment.

“RTAF pilots and concerned parties found the attributes of the AT-6 procurement programme extremely favourable,” stated Air Mashal Pongsawat Jantasarn, chairman of the RTAF’s procurement committee.

“It will also benefit both Thai and US mutual interests, strengthening the enduring strategic partnership between our nations.”

According to Textron Aviation Defense, Thailand is the first foreign buyer of the light attack, single-engine aircraft.

QSI International School Phuket

“We are honoured the Royal Thai Air Force has competitively selected the Beechcraft AT-6 to conduct a broad array of missions in support of its border security and its anti-smuggling, counter-narcotics and anti-human trafficking operations,” said Thomas Hammoor, the company’s president and CEO.

“The RTAF is a key US security ally and operator of one of the most advanced air forces in Asia Pacific. Its extensive market research and stringent procurement process sought the alignment of best cost, schedule, and performance to replace its existing fleet of ageing Aero L-39 Albatross aircraft and advance the capabilities of its fleet with the latest technology,” he said.

The contract aligns the procurement with the Thai government’s S-Curve 11 strategy - a programme that pioneers development of the Thai domestic defence industry, cultivates diversity and supports involvement across foreign and Thai companies.

The Beechcraft AT-6TH is the second RTAF procurement contracted in support of S-Curve 11. The Beechcraft AT-6TH will join the Royal Thai fleet in 2024.

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christysweet | 19 November 2021 - 16:07:10

Kurt, These aircraft are suitable for all weather  low level flying among hills where drug traffickers hide. Then they can evade SAMs rapidly. Helicopters are subject to adverse  weather,  too hard to maintain and far more difficult to pilot.  

PJ | 18 November 2021 - 18:26:36

@Fascinated. I see on google that USAF paid US$40m for 2 in March 2020.   So this deal of US$150m for 8 seems reasonable ??

Kurt | 18 November 2021 - 17:22:21

Suitable for 'light attack' operations? Is there such existing? Oh yes, on civlian targets. When it comes to a dog fight, it takes just a few seconds to shoot them down. What a nonsens buy.

Fascinated | 18 November 2021 - 11:33:06

@johnc- I guess you know nothing about these aircraft, they are not outdated and ideally suited to their planned role- far easier to maintain and loiter than jets. I bet you would complain about poor equipment if the a/c they are replacing crashed. It makes sense as the T-6 is to be used in a training role by the RTAF- its called compatibility. I do concur that they are over-priced though.

JohnC | 18 November 2021 - 10:35:07

The Septics are happy to sell their out dated useless slow aircraft to any idiot willing to buy them.  Must have been lots of kickbacks involved in this "deal". I'm sure it was extremely favourable for some.


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