Royal Moroccan Air Force kicks off first T-6C sale

 - November 15, 2009, 1:17 AM

In late September the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) became the latest customer for the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 Texan II trainer and the first for the weapons-capable T-6C. The $37 million Foreign Military Sales contract covers the first installment of a planned 24-aircraft purchase that was first notified to the U.S. Congress through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in late 2007. Included in the contract are spares provision, ground support equipment and other support services. Morocco joins the U.S., Canada, Greece, Israel and Iraq in ordering the Americanized version of the Pilatus PC-9.

Morocco’s T-6Cs will feature the same FAA-certified CMC Electronics Cockpit 4000 avionics suite as the U.S. Navy’s T-6Bs, including six multifunction displays, hands-on throttle and stick controls, upfront control panel, head-up display, inertial reference unit, radar altimeter and digital recording/ data transfer system. The cockpit incorporates onboard synthetic training functions, such as no-drop bomb scoring, but the T-6C also has underwing hardpoints for live weapons training.

In RMAF service the T-6Cs will replace elderly Beech T-34 Turbo-Mentors and Cessna T-37s in the basic training role, and also download hours from the Alpha Jet advanced jet trainer fleet. Fuel requirements and overall operating costs will be significantly reduced as a result. The T-6C’s modern cockpit systems are particularly suited to training pilots destined for Morocco’s advanced F-16 fleet. The RMAF is acquiring 24 F-16C/D fighters, for which Lockheed Martin additionally received a contract to supply six AAQ-33 Sniper targeting pods in September.