Thailand Launches International Orders For AT-6

Credit: Mark Wagner/Aviation Images

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has signed a $143 million order to become the international launch customer for the Textron AT-6 Wolverine light attack aircraft, the company announced Nov. 13.

The order for eight AT-6s, spares and training for the 41st Wing at Chiang Mai Air Force Base comes nine months after Textron delivered the AT-6E to the U.S. Air Force.

Both aircraft are capable of performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and light attack missions, including the capability to guide a missile with a laser to a moving target.

Textron also markets an armed version of the T-6C trainer, which, unlike the AT-6, is unable to guide a missile to a target from a targeting system onboard the aircraft.

The RTAF will use the AT-6 to replace Aero L-39 jets operated the 41st wing, which has the light attack mission.

“RTAF pilots and concerned parties found the attributes of the AT-6 procurement program extremely favorable,” said AM Pongsawat Jantasarn, RTAF’s chairman of the procurement committee, in a statement released by Textron. 

Jantasarn’s statement also indicated that the deal offers an opportunity to strengthen the Thai government’s relationship with the U.S.

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

The first AT-6TH aircraft will be delivered to the RTAF in Thailand in 2024, Textron says.

“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,” said Thomas Hammoor, president of Textron Aviation Defense.

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.