When the Air Force is offering up an $11 billion contract, all the top guns (har) come out to play.
Including Boeing and Saab AB, who didn’t hold anything back while designing the all-new T-X aircraft, a clean-sheet jet they hope will be selected to become the USAF’s training plane of the future. If it wins the contract, 350 of the single-engine planes — which is competing with designs from the likes of Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman — will replace the Air Force’s dated fleet of 400 T-38 trainer jets.
Built to evolve as technologies, missions and training needs change, the T-X features an advanced cockpit with stadium seating, twin tails and a maintenance-friendly design, as well as the ability to offer state-of-the-art training on the ground or in the air.
“Our T-X is real, ready and the right choice for training pilots for generations to come,” said Boeing executive VP Leanne Caret.
The USAF’s is expected to select a contract winner in 2017 and, if the T-X gets the nod, it could enter into service as soon as 2024.
Got our vote.