The Texan II Becomes the Primary Trainer for Tunisia

The T-6 Texan II is becoming one of the world's most popular primary military trainers, now used by 13 nations, and has accumulated over five million flight hours. One of the most recent recipients of the Texan II is the country of Tunisia, a North African nation situated between Algeria and Libya. Tunisia received the last aircraft of the eight they ordered in the Fall of 2023  

Let’s take a look at this purchase, along with some other key facts about the T-6.

Why the T-6 Texan II?

Alright, so why are so many nations using the T-6 Texan II? 

First, let’s talk about the aircraft to explain it a little more. 

The T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop trainer aircraft manufactured by Beechcraft, which Textron now owns. It was developed as a replacement for the Cessna T-37 Tweet in the United States Air Force’s undergraduate pilot training program. The United States Navy also uses the T-6 Texan II for primary flight training to replace the aging fleet of T-34 Mentors

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The Texan II has a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68 turboprop engine and a fixed tricycle landing gear. It has a maximum speed of 310 knots (575 km/h) and a range of 1,150 nautical miles (2,130 km). The T-6 Texan II is a capable and reliable trainer aircraft that has been well-received by pilots and instructors, which makes sense since it has now amassed over five million total flight hours. 

Here are some of the key features of the T-6 Texan II:

  • Single-engine turboprop trainer aircraft
  • Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68 turboprop engine
  • Fixed tricycle landing gear
  • Maximum speed of 310 knots (575 km/h)
  • Range of 1,150 nautical miles (2,130 km)
  • Tandem controls for pilot and student pilot
  • Twin Martin-Baker Mk 16 US16LA ejection seats

Who Else Uses the Texan II?

The Texan II is the primary trainer for a number of other countries.


Argentina is attempting to rebuild its fleet, beginning with its training fleet. This makes sense, given the Texan II was intended to be a light attack aircraft, but it can also perform other duties. 

Considering the issues that afflict South and Central America (drug cartels, drug trafficking, terrorism), it makes sense to have a fleet of light attack aircraft that can operate from distant locations with little support from the logistical chain and have cheap operating costs, particularly when a pilot can complete primary training without having to learn a new airframe when they join the operational fleet. 


Our allies in the frozen north of Canada operate a fleet of 24 T-6 Texan IIs, although Canada refers to them as the CT-156 Harvard II. They are all located at CFB Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. 

The CT-156 Harvard II replaced the CT-114 Tutor in the early 2000s (although the CT-114 remains in the fleet flying for their premier demonstration team, the Snow Birds). 


The Colombian Air Force has ordered a total of ten T-6 Texan II aircraft, with six already delivered as of 2023. The Texans will replace the Colombian Air Force’s aging fleet of T-37 Tweets and will be used as primary trainers for Colombian pilots. 


The Hellenic Air Force operates a large fleet of 45 Texan IIs from Kalamata Air Force Base. 

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Israel has long been our staunch ally and has used American war machinery with great success for many decades. Their Air Force is a premier air force, and it all starts with a fleet of 20 T-6 Texan IIs. 


The T-6 Texan II is used by both the Mexican Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Mexicana) and the Mexican Navy (Armada de México). A total of 12 T-6C+ aircraft have been delivered to the Mexican Air Force, while the Navy operates only two. 

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New Zealand

New Zealand operates a fleet of eleven Texan IIs from its RNZAF Base Ohakea in Manawatu. The T-6 also displays its flying chops with the official New Zealand demonstration team, the Black Falcons


The Royal Thai Air Force operates a fleet of 12 T-6 Texan IIs for training and a fleet of AT-6 Wolverines for attack missions. 

The United Kingdom

Our long-time ally the UK, flies a fleet of 14 T-6s from Anglesey, Wales, for their Base Fast Jet Training course. 

The FMS Process to Get T-6s to Tunisia 

The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process is complex and lengthy, but it is designed to ensure that the United States government provides its allies with the best possible military equipment and services. The FMS process begins with a request from a foreign government for specific military equipment or services. 

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) then reviews the request. If the DoD approves the request, it will prepare a formal offer to the foreign government. The offer includes detailed information about the equipment or services and the sale terms and conditions.

Once the foreign government accepts the offer, the DoD will begin transferring the equipment or services. Depending on the complexity of the sale, this process can take several months or even years. 

The FMS process is often used to sell military aircraft like the T-6 Texan II (although it is certainly not limited to aircraft). In 2023, Tunisia became the latest country to acquire T-6 Texans through the FMS process. The Tunisian Air Force received a total of eight T-6 Texans, which were used to replace their aging fleet of T-37 Tweets. While the Tweet is an excellent trainer in its own right, it is long overdue for replacement. 

The FMS process is vital for the U.S. government to provide its allies with the military equipment and services they need to defend themselves and promote global stability and security. We can ensure that our allies not only have the military goods and services to succeed but are also largely compatible with our equipment. 

What Services, Military Articles, or Support Will Tunisia Need or Receive? 

This question is tough to gauge without looking at the actual contract. 

Every single FMS deal is different, but generally speaking, something like this will include:

  • The aircraft itself
  • Supply of spare parts
  • Pilot training so Tunisian instructor pilots can “train the trainer” in U.S. military terms. 
  • All engineering and technical documents, technical orders, and other associated articles are accessible. 

The idea is to supply enough spares, parts, and services to sustain the military item (in this case, an aircraft) for the first few years of service with its foreign military operator. The goal is for our allies to be fully self-sufficient, but with the understanding that it takes some time to get their logistics in order.

Parting Thoughts

Greenwood Aerospace is your trusted ITAR-certified parts provider. We have over forty years of experience in government procurement and have worked with dozens of organizations and friendly nations to ensure that products, parts, and services are provided when and where they are needed. 

Call us today at (580) 762-2580 to start the process or start an online quote