Thailand will buy eight fighter planes from Textron of U.S.
The Royal Thai Air Force will buy eight Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft from U.S. contractor Textron Aviation Defense, both parties said last week after signing the purchase agreement.
“It will benefit both Thai and U.S. mutual interests, strengthening the enduring strategic partnership between our nations,” said Air Mashal Pongsawat Jantasarn, Chairman of the Royal Thai Air Force’s (RTAF) procurement committee.
The agreement was first announced by the NASDAQ stock exchange. The contract includes ground support equipment, spare parts, training and other equipment. Textron executives said that Thailand was the first country to buy the newly developed aircraft. Textron was formerly known as Raytheon Aircraft Company.
The AT-6 Wolverine is a light-attack and armed reconnaissance aircraft designed to perform manned intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, training, light precision attack, civil support, counter insurgency, airborne interdiction and intelligence, maritime patrol, and internal defense missions, according to Airforce Technology, an industry website.
“The RTAF (Royal Thai Air Force) is a key U.S. security partner and operator of one of the most advanced air forces in Asia Pacific,” said Thomas Hammoor, president and CEO of Textron.
“We are honored 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,” Hammoor said.
The planes are scheduled for delivery in 2024. The RTAF will assign them to support the 41st Wing light attack operations at Chiang Mai Air Base. The Wolverines will replace the existing fleet of ageing Aero L-39 Albatross aircraft and advance the capabilities of the RTAF fleet with the latest technology.