Lockheed Martin announced that flight operations for the T-50A advanced trainer aircraft were underway from their Greenville, South Carolina final assembly and checkout facility.
The aircraft is a joint partnership between Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries.
Described as a complete 5th generation training platform which also includes a ground based training system, the T-50A is Lockheed Martin’s entry for the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training (APT)/T-X competition that was announced last February.
Since Lockheed Martin manufacturers the F-22 and F-35, both 5th generation fighters they feel they have an advantage with their T-50A platform over other competitors.
The T-50A is purpose-built around 5th Generation thinking. The F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, have advanced capabilities that have never been available before. Advanced pilot training is the key to taking advantage of them. There is no more effective or affordable way than the T-50A to train the next generation of pilots to fly, fight and win.
The T-50A delivers the fighter-like performance and capabilities needed to eliminate 5th Generation training gaps and inefficiencies. The T-50A builds on the proven heritage of the T-50. There are more than 150 T-50s flying today—100,000+ flight hours and counting—and the airframe has already trained more than 1,800 pilots. – Lockheed Martin
The Air Force’s TX program was established to find a replacement for the aging Northrop T-38. It is expected that around 350 new aircraft will initially be ordered.
Featured Image Courtesy of Lockheed Martin