UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


T-6 Texan II Production

The initial T-6A Texan II program called for buying up to 711 production aircraft (372 for the Air Force and 339 for the Navy) from Raytheon Aircraft Co., Wichita, Kan., at an estimated cost of $4 billion. This number may increase to some 860 JPATS aircraft, based on projections of the number of aviators both services need and the number of joint squadrons they must develop. The Flight Training System Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB managed the acquisition of the Texan, seeking to maximize the benefits of allowing the prime contractor to operate using commercial practices with its subcontractors and vendors. The program would be conducted using commercial style practices to the greatest extent possible; however, due to the nature of the acquisition strategy, current government acquisition, auditing and domestic content policies would continue to be applied to the prime.

In early 2001 the Navy decided to discontinue acquisition of the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System for fiscal years 2002 through 2007. On 04 December 2001 the Air Force approved full-rate production for the JPATS.

Initial student training began in October 2001 at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Currently, aircraft are being delivered to Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, the second entry-level student training base, and to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, where naval flight officers training began September 2003.

On January 12, 2006, Raytheon Aircraft Company was awarded a $1.1 Billion supply chain contract from the U.S. Air Force for the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS). On April 4, 2006, Raytheon Aircraft Company delivered the 300th T-6A primary trainer to the U.S. military.

On March 26, 2007, Raytheon Aircraft Company became Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, a company formed by GS Capital Partners, and Onex Partners, beginning the next great chapter of two of aviation’s most enduring brands.

On June 15, 2009, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation achieved two major milestones when the T-6 reached one million flight hours and in the delivery of the 500th T-6 airplane to the U.S. Government. On July 13, 2009, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation announced its inaugural flight of the T-6 avionics upgrade aircraft, the T-6B. The avionics upgrade variant is a derivative of the highly successful T-6A trainer.

On September 2, 2009, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation announced it achieved a significant milestone when it received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of its T-6B military trainer aircraft. The T-6B, an avionics upgrade variant of the highly successful T-6A trainer, will be the primary flight training aircraft of the U.S. Navy. On September 3, 2009, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation delivered its first two T-6B aircraft, the avionics upgrade variant of the highly successful T-6A trainer, to the U.S. Navy.

Hit by a terrible market, an aggressive new competitor, and saddled with debt, Hawker Beechcraft filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012. The company exited bankruptcy as Beechcraft (minus Hawker, a name associated with jets) in February 2013.

On May 3, 2012 HBC (parent of HBDC) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection and received court approval to conduct “ordinary course of business” operations. In June, following a three week production line shutdown, HBDC resumed production of Lot 17 aircraft. The company’s reorganization plan was approved by the bankruptcy court in October 2012 and HBC emerged from bankruptcy in February 2013. The JPATS program office continued to proceed with due diligence on business actions, to include negotiating Lots 19 and 20 aircraft, and sustaining engineering and program management support contracts. In 2012, the program office continued procurement actions with HBDC on a limited basis. Lack of a Forward Pricing Rate Agreement coupled with HBDC’s financial instability significantly hindered contracting efforts. Defense Contractor Auditing Agency (DCAA) completed audit of the Lot 19 and 20 proposal in October 2012 and Defense Contractor Management Agency provided an updated Forward Pricing Rate Recommendation in December 2012. JPATS entered negotiations on Lots 19 and 20 (final lots) in December 2012. Entering 2013 HBDC was eight (8) aircraft ahead of the Lot 18 contract production schedule.

In January 2012 JPATS awarded production of Lot 18 aircraft. This contract award followed an FY 2011 Congressional Mark of 38 aircraft. Hawker Beechcraft Defense Corporation (HBDC) continued production at risk and extended FY 2011 pricing into FY 2012. This allowed the government to order the planned FY 2012 lot buy of 36 aircraft without repricing and maintained the existing production schedule but placed HBDC at financial risk (est. $100M termination liability) for 10-12 months of long-lead parts. The 38 marked aircraft were restored in FY 2013 and FY 2014. HBDC submitted an updated proposal for Lots 19 and 20 in March 2012. HBDC incurred risks associated with long-lead parts for these final T-6B lots throughout 2012.

Beechcraft Defense Company announced May 10, 2013 it had signed a contract with the U.S. Air Force for the production of 35 T-6 training aircraft, with an option for two additional aircraft. “The signing of this latest production lot of our JPATS contract underscores the trusted partnership between Beechcraft and the U.S. Government, which continues to rely on us to deliver and support their fleet as we have for the past 13 years,” said Russ Bartlett, president, Beechcraft Defense Company. “The contract will also provide increased stability for our Wichita workforce.”

The contract represents the 19th production lot of T-6 aircraft ordered by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy as part of the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) procurement program, launched in the late 1990s. The new contract is valued at $210 million and would comprise 33 T-6 aircraft for the U.S. Navy and two for the U.S. Army. Production of JPATS Lot 19, which would take place in Wichita, Kan., begins in May 2013, with the final delivery scheduled for February of 2015.

The Navy Training Air Wing 5's final T-6B Texan II aircraft arrived to Naval Air Station Whiting Field 21 June 2016. The landing marked the command's full complement of primary, fixed-wing aircraft. TRAWING-5 received their first T-6B from Beechcraft August 25, 2009 to replace its aging T-34 Turbomentor fleet. The T-6B had twice the performance power compared to T-34 and came equipped with a digital (glass) cockpit display, heads-up display, and ejection seat. The process of transitioning one squadron to the T-6B took 9-12 months, and Training Squadron 3 was the forefront of the switch with its first student flight in April 2010. TRAWING-5 officially phased out the T-34 in 2012.

JPATS continued to meet mission requirements of Air Force and Navy training commands though 2012, but aircraft readiness declined in both services due to increased Not Mission Capable due to Supply (NMCS) rates following source selection of a new COMBS contractor, DynCorp International (DCI) in June 2012. In the period following contract award, it was discovered that the previous COMBS provider had not ordered sufficient quantities of consumable, time change, and long-lead parts up through the contract period of performance. This created a supply chain deficit, which though aggressively addressed by the new vendor, will impact the fleet through most of 2013, with slow improvement evident at the close of 2012. In addition to NMCS issues, sustainment funding requirements shortfalls continue to impact engine overhaul and repair functions increasing risk to meeting aircrew production requirements.

Textron Aviation Beechcraft’s 16-year run of T-6 airplane sales to the U.S. military’s JPATS program ended in July 2015.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 08-08-2016 19:59:15 ZULU