Thailand decommissions Pilatus PC-9 training aircraft
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has retired the Pilatus PC-9 single-engine, low-wing tandem-seat turboprop training aircraft during a decommissioning ceremony at the service’s training school at Kamphaeng Saen airbase.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, the RTAF had operated a fleet of 22 PC-9 trainers, with the aircraft phasing out beginning back in 2021.
The Pilatus was succeeded by 12 Textron Aviation T-6C Texan II turboprop training aircraft. The RTAF signed a US$162 million contract with Textron in September 2020 to purchase the two dozen T-6Cs.
The first two T-6C Texan II aircraft were delivered in November 2022,with the last unit delivered in August 2023. All 12 trainers entered service at the end of summer last year, when about 12 PC-9s were still in service.
Designed for all instruction levels, the T-6C is an improved version of theT-6B with underwing hardpoints targeted for export customers. The aircraft covers a range of training programmes, from initial pilot screening to advanced operational training. T-6 variants include T-6A, -B, -C, C+ and D.
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