RTAF Makes Progress in Procuring Light Attack Aircraft AT-6E Wolverine



 At present, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has a type fighter and attack aircraft Aero Vodochody L-39ZA/ART Albatros of Czech Republic, stationed at Squadron 41, Wing 41, Chiang Mai as the last squadron.Royal Thai Air Force L-39ZA/ART, 41 Squadron, all 24 aircraft (understood to have five operational aircraft) are scheduled to be decommissioned in 2016 and replaced by new light attack aircraft. 12 aircraft according to the white paper plan to buy by the Royal Thai Air Force 2020. The procurement of new light attack aircraft is divided into phase 1, number of 8 aircraft commitments 3 years in the fiscal year 2021-2023 amount of 4,500,000,000 baht ($ 143,079,710) and phase 2 of 4 budget commitments 3 years in the fiscal year 2022-2024.


Under the policy of procurement and development, purchase and development of the Royal Thai Air Force the new light attack aircraft will be co-based with 12 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II propeller trainer aircraft ordered for $ 162 million.According to the T-6C, the Texan II propeller training aircraft is designated as the T-6TH training aircraft in the Royal Thai Air Force. The Beechcraft AT-6E Wolverine light attack aircraft will be designated the A-6TH attack aircraft for the Royal Thai Air Force.The T-6TH training aircraft is expected to be put into service from late 2022 to early 2023 at Kamphaeng Saen Aviation School. Replacement of the training aircraft Type Pilatus PC-9 of  Switzerland, at present there are a number of 18 machines in service since 1991. US company Textron Aviation Defense said it plans to deliver two T-6TH propeller trainer aircraft from the US to Thailand with the rest 10 machines are scheduled to be built and transported to Kamphaeng Saen Aviation School, Royal Thai Air Force.


The A-6TH light strike aircraft will be procured through participation with the Thai aerospace industry, namely RV Connex, Thailand and Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) and international companies are CMC Electronics Canada and Lockheed Martin US.According to the Common Fleet policy of the Royal Thai Air Force the A-6TH will be able to use the short-range air-to-air missile Diehl IRIS-T Germany, which will be a propeller light attack aircraft. The first model to support the use of IRIS-T and weapon systems such as a .50cal (12.7x99mm) FN HMP400 FN HMP400 air gun, APKWS air-to-ground missile, 500lbs GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb, GBU-38 JDAM 500lbs GBU-38 JDAM missile bomb, and weapons to launch air-to-ground missile AGM-114 Hellfire.


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