The U.S. will deliver 12 T-6 military training aircraft to Vietnam during the 2024-27 period, contributing to modernization of pilot training in the Southeast Asian country, a U.S. Pacific Air Force brigadier general has announced.
Brigadier General Sarah Russ, Mobilization Assistant to the Director of Strategy, Plans, Programs, and Requirements, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, was speaking at a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi on Friday.
Among these planes, whose full name is Beechcraft T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft, three will be delivered in the first quarter of 2024, the next two or three by the end of that year, and the remainder by 2027, said Brigadier General Sarah Russ.
Russ had arrived in Vietnam to attend the three-day Vietnam International Defense Expo 2022 that kicked off in Hanoi on December 8.
It is a great pleasure for the U.S. to be chosen by Vietnam as its partner to modernize its pilot training program, the brigadier general told the conference.
“We gladly entertain the interests to secure other aircraft … currently we don’t have any other types of sales this time, but we are here to support Vietnam’s modernization plan,” Channel News Asia (CNA) quoted Russ as saying.
Talking to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the sidelines of the press briefing, Brigadier General Russ said that all these T-6 trainer aircraft to be delivered are brand new.
The U.S. side also coordinated with the Air Defense – Air Force of Vietnam to train aircraft maintenance technicians and teach English to Vietnamese pilots, Russ said.
The T-6 aircraft program opens up other opportunities for cooperation in logistics, flight safety and aviation medicine between the two countries, she said, adding the U.S.’s Hawaii office stands ready to support the program.
In 2019, Senior Lieutenant Dang Duc Toai became the first Vietnamese pilot to complete a training course using T-6 trainer aircraft within the framework of the 52-week U.S. Air Force’s Aviation Leadership Program (ALP).
In early June last year, General Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, confirmed at a press briefing via telephone with Asian media that Vietnam would buy these trainer aircraft from the U.S. to train its pilots, according to Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.