Aerial Warfare

Royal Thai Air Force Reviews Final Reassembly of Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine at TAI

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Royal Thai Air Force Reviews Final Reassembly of Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine at TAI

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Royal Thai Air Force Reviews Final Reassembly of Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine at TAI
Royal Thai Air Force Reviews Final Reassembly of Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine at TAI

On June 19, 2024, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) inspected the Final Reassembly Program of the Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine light attack and training aircraft, serial numbers “41101” and “41102,” at Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) in Takhli District, Nakhon Sawan Province. These two aircraft, the first of eight ordered by the RTAF, were delivered to the 411 Squadron at Wing 41, Chiang Mai, earlier in June 2024. The Final Reassembly Program for the AT-6TH Wolverines commenced in late May 2024 at TAI’s facility near Wing 4 Takhli. The aircraft, shipped to Thailand for reassembly, have now successfully flown from Wing 4, Takhli to Squadron 411 at Wing 41, Chiang Mai, marking the beginning of their service in the RTAF.

This acquisition is part of a significant investment by the RTAF, totaling 4,314,039,980.80 baht ($143 million), which includes the technology transfer to bolster the Thai aviation industry. The RTAF plans to have all eight AT-6TH Wolverines in service by the end of 2024. Thailand plans to operate eight AT-6TH Wolverines, while Tunisia has requested four. Colombia and Nigeria have opted for the similar A-29 Super Tucano. The successful trials and certification of the AT-6E have paved the way for its integration into partner nation air forces, enhancing their light attack and reconnaissance capabilities.

RTAF Inspected the Final Reassembly Program of Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine at TAI
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) inspected the Final Reassembly Program of the Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine light attack and training aircraft Inspected the Final Reassembly Program of Beechcraft AT-6TH Wolverine light attack and training aircraft at Thai Aviation Industries (TAI). (Photo by TAI)

The AT-6E Wolverine, a turboprop light attack/armed reconnaissance aircraft developed from the T-6 primary trainer, incorporates advanced systems from other aircraft such as the A-10C’s mission computer, the F-16’s Hands-on Throttle and Stick (HOTAS), and a Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS). It incorporates advanced systems from other combat aircraft, including the A-10C’s mission computer and the F-16’s Hands-on Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) system. The Wolverine is equipped with a Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS) and a digital glass cockpit featuring three color Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) for integrated navigation, sensor, and weapons management. Communication and data capabilities include LINK-16/SADL data links, real-time Full Motion Video (FMV)/ROVER for integration with ground forces, and tactical VHF/UHF/SATCOMS.

This aircraft can carry a variety of air-to-ground weapons on its six wing pylons and is equipped with a centerline-mounted MX-15D EO/IR sensor for targeting and tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR). Initially proposed for the USAF’s Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) requirement, the AT-6 Wolverine’s development faced budgetary constraints. However, renewed interest in 2017 led to the Light Attack Experiment (OA-X), evaluating off-the-shelf platforms for Close Air Support (CAS) and ISR missions. This secure-tactical network supports U.S. and partner-nation Counter-Insurgency (COIN) operations. Countries like Colombia, Nigeria, Thailand, and Tunisia collaborated with the 81st Fighter Squadron to develop light attack/ISR tactics using AERONet.

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