Editor’s Note: As we’ve spoken of before, things are heating up in the competition between aircraft manufacturers to win the T-X contract, the Air Force’s replacement to its aging fleet of T-38 Talon jet trainers. Some thought a shift in those requirements was pending, which would allow Textron’s entry, one based on their prototype “Scorpion” light-attack aircraft, but that does not appear to be the case.
Despite speculation that parameters for the Air Force’s T-X trainer are still up in the air, top officials say there will be no more changes to the program requirements.
The Air Force’s requirements for 350 T-X jets to replace the service’s aging T-38 trainer fleet are pretty much set, according to Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, director of plans, programs, requirements and assessments for Air Education and Training Command. Although a formal request for proposals will not be released until later this year, the requirements will likely hold steady in part to control cost growth, officials said late last month at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium.
“As far as changes go, there’s real stability in the T-X program, none of the requirements have changed,” AETC commander Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson told reporters Feb. 25. “That’s one of the premises of how we’re approaching this program as well. … We are trying as hard as we can to stick to requirements and not change them because as soon as you do, now the cost goes up.”
As the Air Force prepares to release the official RFP, a field of at least four industry teams is shaping up to compete for the contract. Raytheon, Finmeccanica and CAE will offer the T-100; Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries have teamed up for the T-50A; meanwhile a pair of clean-sheet designs is being put forth by a Boeing/Saab team and a Northrop Grumman-led coalition that includes BAE Systems and L2.
You can view Lara Seligman’s original article in its entirety right here.
(Featured photo courtesy of ainonline.com)