Boeing awarded $9.2B contract for Air Force T-X trainer aircraft

Air Force turns to Boeing for $9.2 billion training aircraft contract

Air Force turns to Boeing for $9.2 billion training aircraft contract

Boeing said on 27 September that it won the US Air Force's (USAF's) lucrative T-X advanced pilot training system competition, the company's third major programme win in weeks.

"The contract provides for the anticipated delivery of 351 aircraft, 46 associated training devices, and other ancillary supplies and service".

USAF has been training pilots in the Northrop T-38 for five decades, and while that venerable jet can still do the job (and the Air Force has plenty of experience with keeping planes in the air many years past their intended lifespan), problems began to arise.

With hopes to win the lucrative project, KAI had formed a consortium with the US' Lockheed Martin to replace 350 units of the aging T-38 jets.

The first T-X aircraft and simulators are due to arrive at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas in 2023.

Leanne Caret, chief executive of Boeing's Defense, Space & Security, said in a statement, "Today's announcement is the culmination of years of unwavering focus by the Boeing and Saab team".

The aerospace giant also scored a potential $13billion franchise to build MQ-25 carrier-based refueling drones for the U.S. Navy, and with Italian firm Leonardo won a $2.38billion contest to replace a fleet of Huey helicopters guarding the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile sites.




The T-X aircraft and systems give Saab another major new product that could benefit over time from the US foreign military sales organization, Morris noted. Then, all undergraduate pilot training bases will transition to the new aircraft, the Air Force said. "This is showing the progress that the Air Force is making as far as innovation and ensuring we are keeping up with the advancements in technology".

With T-X, Boeing has completed a trifecta of contract wins in the last month.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson noted that the original cost estimate for the program was $19.7 billion.

An Air Force spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Boeing T-X at its official unveiling in 2016. There's an option to raise the purchase to 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.

Boeing teamed up with Sweden's Saab AB to develop a new plane for the competition, beating out Lockheed Martin Corp and Leonardo DRS.

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