New training jet destined for CAFB

Oscar PerryOct 01, 2018

Boeing, along with its partner Saab, has just won out big in securing the U.S. Air Force's long-awaited T-X jet trainer contract.

The initial deal is for 351 T-X training jets, along with 46 flight simulators and other ground equipment.

"This new aircraft will provide the advanced training capabilities we need to increase the lethality and effectiveness of future Air Force pilots", Wilson wrote.

Boeing will deliver the first T-X aircraft and simulators in 2023. In a preview of today's announcement, Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia said the T-X was the focus of "the last undecided USA military aircraft competition for many years to come". Boeing's military arm has been eclipsed by the rapid growth of its commercial-jet unit this decade.

"Columbus Air Force Base is excited to get a new trainer", Crennan said. The Air Force will start by acquiring 46 simulators. Boeing and Triumph officials have previously said that orders for hundreds more of the training aircraft could also be placed by foreign military forces.

Among the bidders for the T-X program, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems decided not to submit a proposal for the US Air Force T-X Trainer program after carefully examining requirements and acquisition strategy as stated in the final request for proposals issued on Dec, 30, 2016. "We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century".

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However, Iran is rejecting calls to give up its missiles despite strong pressure from the U.S.in the form of sanctions. Shi'ite Iran is at odds with Western-allied Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia for predominance in the Middle East.

The Air Force would not comment on the competing companies, but Reuters reported they were Leonardo DVS and Lockheed Martin.

Developers proposed Tuskegee's Moton Field as a site for an Italian manufacturer to assemble the T-100 trainer, but the Pentagon chose Boeing for the project. Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries had teamed up to offer the T-50A, which has already been used to train pilots in Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Iraq.

The Boeing-Saab consortium was known to have pitched their jet's strengths as well as aggressive price cut.

The service touted over $10 billion in cost savings from its previous program estimate of $19 billion.

CAFB First Lieutenant Public Affairs Officer Kara Crennan said the contract with Boeing was finalized Thursday.

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