Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Race for the US Air Force T-X Trainer Contract

If 2015 was the year of the bomber, the US Air Force’s requirement for a next-generation fighter trainer will be one of the hottest games in town in 2016.

With four – maybe five – industry teams poised to pounce on a request for proposals due out in the fourth quarter, the multi-billion dollar opportunity to replace the venerable T-38 Talon will reveal clean-sheet aircraft from Northrop Grumman and Boeing/Saab, and also maybe from Lockheed Martin; despite the company’s ties to the T-50-based Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) bid.

The USAF’s massaging of T-X performance needs has already seen Textron rule out offering its Scorpion, and question marks hang over the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 (offered as T-100) and BAE Systems Hawk.

It’s impossible to predict how the competition will shake out, but the need for 350 advanced trainers to prepare pilots to fly the Lockheed F-22 and F-35 will surely throw up surprises.

No comments: