Hawker Beechcraft has dispatched the first export version of the current variant of its T-6 turboprop trainer, delivering 12 aircraft to the Royal Moroccan Air Force. Twelve more T-6Cs ordered by Morocco will be delivered this year. No other international orders have been placed for the trainer. However, Russ Bartlett, Hawker Beechcraft director of government business development, noted “a lot of mature pursuits.” The airframer might announce new orders at the Paris Air Show in June, he told AIN.
The T-6C is the export version of the T-6B. The U.S. Navy, which operates the T-6B Texan, has received 76 of 280 planned trainers. Both marques are fitted with a glass cockpit, the Esterline CMC Cockpit 4000 integrated avionics suite, featuring three color multifunction displays and a head-up display. With hands-on throttle and stick controls fore and aft for the student pilot and instructor, the single-engine trainer provides the feel of a frontline fighter. “The beauty of this system,” Bartlett said of the Cockpit 4000 suite, is that it is easily upgradeable, software-driven and based on an open architecture that can be scaled for future capabilities.
Hawker Beechcraft currently is pitching the structurally strengthened AT-6 derivative of the T-6 against Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano for a U.S. Air Force light air support requirement in Afghanistan. The AT-6 is capable of delivering precision guided munitions in close air support and irregular warfare roles. Bartlett noted that T-6As originally were “weaponized” for the Greek Air Force, as are the T-6Cs heading to Morocco. The Moroccan trainers have three hardpoints on each wing for carrying external fuel tanks or practice bombs.