Tunisia Export Approval Offers New Sales Prospect For AT-6C

Credit: USAF

Tunisia has been cleared to buy four armed AT-6Cs four months after the U.S. State Department authorized a sale of 12 trainer versions of the Textron aircraft. 

The export package for the potential Tunisian order would also include thousands of munitions. The State Department approved the sale of 3,290 guided rockets (BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System), 468 250-lb Mk. 81 bombs, 60 GBU-12 guided bombs and 48 Mk. 82 bombs. 

If signed, the deal would also involve the sale of six L3Harris MX-15D multispectral targeting systems and six .50-caliber machine guns. 

The overall package would be worth an estimated $325.8 million, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which notified Congress of the State Department’s approval on Feb. 26. 

The clearance offers another chance for Textron to win a long-sought order for the AT-6C. The State Department also cleared an export package with 24 AT-6Cs for Iraq in 2014, but the order was never signed. The U.S. Air Force also plans to buy three AT-6Cs for more light attack experiments at Nellis AFB, Nevada, but the signing of that deal was delayed. The Government Accountability Office on Feb. 10 denied a protest filed by Air Tractor, clearing the Air Force to sign the deal. 

Steve Trimble

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