In 2007, Raytheon aircraft was spun out in a $3.3 billion sale as the Hawker Beechcraft Corp. of Wichita, KS. Now that firm has received a framework contract modification for $3 billion that will be used to buy Lots 14 through Lot 20 of the T-6A Texan II/ JPATS trainer aircraft used by the US Air Force and Navy. Lots 14 & part of Lot 15 will be primarily Air Force aircraft, whereas lts 17-20 will be Navy aircraft. This contract will also procure related items to the aircraft such as ground-based training systems, field service support, and aircraft change modifications. The JPATSS/PK at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base OH issued the contract (FA8617-07-D-6151 P00002).
The T-6 is the result of iterative modifications to the popular Pilatus PC-9 trainer that left the 2 aircraft with no common parts. Now the T-6 serves as the USAF’s and US Navy’s JPATS intermediate to advanced training aircraft [USAF fact sheet | Hawker Beechcraft] for prospective pilots. It is also used by Canada’s international “NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC),” and by Greece. Greece specified that its T-6Bs had to be capable of being armed, and a modified variant called the AT-6B has been entered in Iraq’s competition for a counter-insurgency aircraft. Unlike competitors like Embraer’s Super Tucano, however, the aircraft was not initially designed for an armed role – and the USA has no plans to use them in that capacity.