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|Beechcraft T-6 Texan II will be used for basic training. (Photo: Thanh Nien)|
Providing 3 propeller-engined aircraft with training
According to the announcement released on February 18, the US Air Force is promoting a contract to provide 3 training aircraft for Vietnam together with a basic pilot training program built based on the pilot training model of the US Air Force. Accordingly, the deadline for receiving bidding documents is March 3, 2021; and the latest handover of the three aircraft is around mid-2023.
According to the US Air Force, the supply of these 3 training aircraft is part of the strategic program of regional security cooperation and assistance between the US Air Force and Vietnam.
|The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company. (Photo: Thanh Nien)|
The aircraft trainer type on bid is one equipped with a turboprop engine, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), equipped with a pressurized cockpit, an oxygen supply system, pilot's hats with information display, and modern electronic equipment. The aircraft must have a lifespan of not less than 15,000 flight hours, with external mounts capable of carrying a NATO backup fuel tank in order to have a long training range.
The US Air Force also requires aircraft to ensure relatively low cost-per-hour flight. The bid also has to be accompanied by logistics supply packages, spare parts, ground support equipment, technical support, computer training equipment, basic pilot training under the program of the US Air Force.
|Lieutenant Dang Dinh Toai was the first Vietnamese pilot to graduate from the US Air Force's Aviation Leadership Program. (Photo: Thanh Nien)|
Vietnamese pilots trained to flight T-6A Texan II in US
Recently, the US has trained a number of Vietnam People's Air Force pilots. On May 31, 2019, Columbus Air Force Base (in Mississippi, USA) held a graduation ceremony for 34 US and foreign pilots, among them was Vietnamese Lieutenant Dang Duc Toai. From Facebook of the US Embassy in Vietnam, it is known that Lieutenant Toai was the first Vietnamese pilot to graduate from the US Air Force's Aviation Leadership Program. In addition, Lieutenant Doan Van Canh also attended this program at the same base.
The participation of Vietnamese pilots in such training courses stems from the defense cooperation between the two countries. Vietnamese pilots were trained with the T-6A Texan II aircraft used by the US Air Force and Navy in flight training.
|Vietnam's Yak-52 for training. (Photo: Thanh Nien)|
In September 2019, speaking at an event in Hawaii, General Charles Q. Brown, commander of the US Air Force in the Pacific at that time, said that the Vietnamese side was considering buying US T-6 training aircraft. It is known that the Vietnam Air Force currently trains military pilots with two types of aircraft: Yak-52 (propeller turbine, made by the Soviet Union, used for primary flight training) and L-39 (jet, Czech origin, used for advanced flight training).
The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company. A trainer aircraft based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 has replaced the United States Air Force's Cessna T-37B Tweet and the United States Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and Combat Systems Officer training, the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps for primary Naval Aviator training and primary and intermediate Naval Flight Officer training, and by the Royal Canadian Air Force, Greek Air Force, Israeli Air Force, and Iraqi Air Force for basic flight training.
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