Tunisia: US State Department green-lights sale of four AT-6Cs

The US State Department has approved the sale of four AT-6C light fighter jets and supporting equipment to Tunisia for total cost of $325.8 million.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the aircraft “will improve Tunisia’s ability to meet current and future threats by increasing their capability and capacity to counter terrorism and other violent extremist organization threats”.

“The AT-6 platform will bolster their capability to respond to threats and engage in multiple areas across the country,” the agency said in a statement, adding that it has notified the US Congress of the sale.

The associated equipment include gravity and guided munitions, including 468 Mark 81 250-lb bombs, 48 500-lb Mark 82 bombs, Paveway II laser guidance units, 3,290 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser guidance units for 2.75-inch rockets, six .50 caliber machine guns, and six L-3 WESCAM MX 15D Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems.

They also encompass two spare Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68D 1600 SHP engines, as well as bomb components, rocket motors, practice bombs, construction, training, technical and logistics support.

Textron Aviation Defense is the main contractor and will supply the aircraft under the foreign military sale route.

Tunisia since 2015 has embarked on beefing up its defense equipment as it faces increasing terrorism threats mainly at its border with Libya and at the mountainous border with Algeria, serving as a safe haven for terror groups.

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