Colombia looks to buy more Texan II aircraft, appearing confused about plans

Colombia buy more Texan trainer
Colombian Air Force T-6C Texan II.

The Commander of the Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Colombiana- FAC), General Ramsés Rueda Rueda, unveiled the future plans of the armed force last Saturday during the local TV program "A Volar". He said they intend to introduce additional T-6C Texan II trainer aircraft to ensure a high level of training for future FAC pilots. Their plan is to increase the Texan II fleet to 24 units.

The new aircraft will add to the eight T-6Cs already acquired by the nation in 2020 in order to replace the old T-37B trainer jets introduced by the FAC in the 1970s. However, this plan has caused the discontent of various senior officers who would like a more performing jet engine aircraft capable of also covering light attack tasks.

What is surprising is that in the past Colombia had rejected Beechcraft's offer for the Texan II, saying it preferred more powerful aircraft such as the Leonardo M-346 or the KAI T-50. It makes sense as soon the FAC will also have to replace the A-37 Dragonfly, the combat variant of the T-37B. Many believe that the Texan II is not a suitable replacement for the Dragonfly as it does not offer an adequate deterrent force. In addition, the service already has a trainer/light attack turboprop aircraft with very similar characteristics to the T-6, the Embrar Super Tucano. It is well known that the two types have been competing for the same market segment for decades.

It therefore seems that Brazil has a little confused ideas about the plans for the air force, considering that the new purchase will erode a large part of the budget and the defense will remain without funds to be allocated to other types of platforms.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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