Dominican Republic Plans to Acquire ten ex-US Navy T-34Cs

Above: A US Navy T-34C Turbo Mentor painted in special heritage colours to mark the 2011 Centennial of Naval Aviation taxies past another one in the standard training scheme at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida, on January 13, 2011.  The Dominican Republic plans to acquire ten surplus US Navy T-34Cs.  US Navy/2nd Lt Molly Le Blanc

IT HAS come to light that the Dominican Republic is seeking to acquire ten T-34C Turbo Mentors from the US Navy through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) acquisition process.  The plans were revealed when the US Department of Defense recently updated its online EDA database.  This shows that authorisation to supply the aircraft as an EDA grant was given on May 11.  It is assumed they will enter Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana (Dominican Republic Air Force) service.  The current value of the ten T-34Cs was given as $341,900. In addition, on the same date authorisation was also given to supply one spare Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25 turboprop engine, valued at $12,821.

There is currently a large stock of surplus US Navy T-34Cs available, with 166 currently in storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.  This is as a result of the US Navy retiring the last T-34Cs operating in its primary role of basic training on April 19, 2012, having replaced them with the T-6A/B Texan II.  Presumably the ten requested by the Dominican Republic will be taken from AMARG stocks.

The EDA programme provides surplus US military equipment to foreign governments or international organisations, typically to modernise allied partner nation forces, at either a reduced price or, as in this case, free-of-charge as a grant.  Partner nations only pay for packing, crating, handling and transportation (or ferry flights), togetherwith any required refurbishment or upgrade, if applicable. The EDA programme is managed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which facilitates co-ordination and approval of requests.