X pilot training program bid won by Boeing-led team

Eileen GuzmanOct 01, 2018

The Boeing Company has been awarded a contract worth up to $9.2 billion to build the Air Force's new trainer aircraft, the Air Force announced on Thursday.

The contract provides for the anticipated delivery of 351 aircraft, 46 associated training devices, and other ancillary supplies and service (e.g., initial spares, support equipment, sustainment, and training).

"I commend the U.S. Air Force for selecting Boeing's T-X proposal and supporting Missouri's workforce", said Governor Parson. The first T-X aircraft and simulators are scheduled to arrive at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas in 2023.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of years of unwavering focus by the Boeing and Saab team", said Caret in a released statement.

The service's target date for reach initial operational capability with the T-X is 2024.

The USAF contract also ensures Boeing maintains a presence in military fast jets as its F-15 and F/A-18 Super Hornets are retired in the coming years. Then, all undergraduate pilot training bases will transition to the new aircraft, the Air Force said. Lockheed, the manufacturer of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is the world's largest defense contractor by a wide margin, taking in $50 billion in US contract dollars previous year compared with Boeing's $23 billion. It allows the Air Force to purchase up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators.

Winning the T-X program Boeing and Saab have beaten Lockheed Marting and Leonardo, whose bids were based on existing designs. To win the bid the team designed, developed, and flight tested two all-new, purpose-built jets showcasing the system's design, repeatability in manufacturing and training capability to Air Force officials. "We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century".

Boeing's T-X is a clean-sheet design.

Lockheed Martin, the defense giant that builds the F-35, entered the competition with a plane it called the T-50 and which was derived from the F-16 Falcon.

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

The Air Force says this structure helped it trim the total cost of the program down from the original estimate of $19.7 billion.

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