The Tunisian Air Force has received its first of eight advanced military flight trainers, the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II, from American aircraft firm Textron Systems.

The delivery came four months after the African nation secured the foreign military sales contract from the US.

The July 2022 agreement granted Tunisia eight T-6C Texan II aircraft to modernize its fleet and bolster its pilots’ training.

Tunisia will also receive in-country field service and logistics support, program management support, training for pilots and maintenance professionals, spare engines, spare parts and aircraft support equipment.

“Becoming a regional leader in military flight training excellence is one of the milestones on the path to achieving our counter-terrorism and border security mission requirements,” Tunisian Air Force Chief of Staff General Mohamed Hajjem said.

“This acquisition paves the way for additional bilateral engagements and strengthens our relationship with the United States.”

The second T-6C Texan II aircraft is expected to be delivered in late 2022 while the remaining six are slated for delivery in March next year.

‘Purpose-Built Aircraft’

The next-generation military trainer is capable of flying at a maximum range of 1,382 nautical miles (2,559 kilometers/1,590 miles) with two additional fuel tanks.

The 10.16-meter (33.4 feet) Beechcraft features an all-digital and open-architecture glass cockpit with global positioning system navigation and simulated air-to-air target capabilities, allowing pilots to conduct complex missions.

Textron Aviation Defense also offers a flight training system through its T-6C simulators.

The simulators include a computer-based training and management system and customizable training courseware for training cockpit and emergency procedures “all in a safe, controlled, efficient environment.”

With Tunisia’s procurement, the aircraft company has supplied the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II to 13 countries worldwide: the US, UK, Israel, Canada, Greece, Colombia, Thailand, New Zealand, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, and Mexico.

“We are delighted to welcome yet another North African and Mediterranean allied nation to the distinguished group of global air forces who rely on the next-generation T-6 Integrated Training System to achieve their pilot training objectives,” Textron said.