Boeing wins US Air Force TX trainer competition

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The initial deal is for 351 T-X training jets, along with 46 flight simulators and other ground equipment. The aging T-38 Talon first entered service in the 1960s.

Boeing announced that it has won the contract via a tweet.

The award comes less than a week after the Air Force awarded a Boeing-Leonardo bid the win for the Air Force's replacement of its UH-1 nuclear security helicopters.

According to Defense News, the T-X trainer program is the third major victory for Boeing in a month. Boeing's military arm has been eclipsed by the rapid growth of its commercial-jet unit this decade. All undergraduate pilot training bases will eventually transition from the T-38 to the T-X. Boeing bid very aggressively, considering that the Air Force's cap for the tender was $16.3 billion. The contract allows the Air Force to purchase up to 475 jets and 120 simulators.

Boeing was the only competitor to pitch a clean-sheet design for T-X, which increases the likelihood that it will have to pay out of pocket to correct any issues that emerge as the program proceeds. "We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century", she wrote. Its partner Lockheed Martin had supplied the U.S. Air Force's main fighters F-22 and F-35.

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Unveiled in St Louis in 2016, Boeing and Saab's all-new T-X design features a single GE F404 engine, twin tails, what Boeing calls "stadium seating" and advanced avionics.

Saab said in a statement Thursday that an initial 813 million dollar contract awarded to Boeing will fund the engineering and manufacturing development of the first five aircraft and seven simulators.

The Air Force's original cost estimate for the T-X program was $19.7 billion.

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 KAI went for the bidding with the KAI's self-developed T-50A, which is an upgrade version of T-50. We at The War Zone have already noted that the size of T-X program could attract additional buyers, either in the form of USA allies or private contracts.

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