Warplanes: Texans In Iraq


June 10, 2014: Iraq is buying another 24 U.S. T-6A "Texan II" trainer/attack/reconnaissance aircraft. This package deal, which includes training, spares and maintenance, will cost $790 million. The “C” version includes hard points on the wings for carrying bombs and missiles, or pods for recon and intelligence collecting. Iraq already has AT-6As it ordered back in 2009.

Back in the 1990s, the T-6A was selected by the U.S. Air Force as the replacement for the half century old T-37Bs (which were basically worn out). This was because the T-6A design is based on the very popular Pilatus PC-9, which already had an excellent reputation as a trainer aircraft. The U.S. Air Force began using the T-6A six years ago.

A single engine prop driven aircraft, the T-6 reduces fuel costs by over 60 percent (compared to the T-37B). The three ton T-6As cost about $8 million each while the AT-6Cs cost a bit more. Iraq always intended to expand its AT-6 fleet, eventually to 56 T-6. The AT-6 can carry about half a ton of weapons (bombs, missiles, machine-gun pods).



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