On Jan. 9, 2012, Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft announced its first sale of T-6C+ Texan II primary trainers to the Mexican air force. Mexico has ordered six of the aircraft, but observers say the number is likely to increase.
With future U.S. purchases of the similar AT-6 in the Light Air Support (LAS) program now in doubt, the Mexican purchase is good news for the planemaker.
The T-6C+ uses a 1,600-horsepower PT6-A-68 turboprop engine and is equipped to carry practice weapons for training purposes. There is no indication yet that the planes will be armed or used for other than training purposes.
The first two of the six will be delivered to an advanced training base, not otherwise identified, in Mexico’s northern region early this year. The Texan IIs will replace the military’s aging Pilatus PC-7 fleet. At one time, Mexico operated 65 PC-7s.
“We see this sale of six aircraft as just the beginning of a long and productive relationship with the FAM [Fuerza Aerea Mexicana, or Mexican air force],” said Jim Maslowski, president of Hawker Beechcraft’s defense business, in a statement.