Boeing wins USAF TX jet trainer competition

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 Co was selected to build the US Air Force's next training jet in a contract worth up to $9.2 billion over the life of the program, the Air Force said on Thursday.

"I commend the U.S. Air Force for selecting Boeing's T-X proposal and supporting Missouri's workforce", said Governor Parson. The aging T-38 Talon first entered service in the 1960s.

The service engaged early with industry on the requirements for the advanced pilot trainer, which helped incite competition and buy down risk, said Will Roper, Air Force assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said in a statement that the win was "the culmination of years of unwavering focus by the Boeing and Saab team".

On Monday, the Air Force also awarded Boeing part of a more than $2 billion contract to replace helicopters it uses to monitor the military's ballistic missiles.

But Boeing has notched a string of victories in the past month, winning footholds on major military programs that should pad its coffers for decades.

"This is all about joint warfighting excellence; we need the T-X to optimize training for pilots heading into our growing fleet of fifth-generation aircraft", said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

But the structure of the deal suggests that the Air Force and Boeing might be expecting growth of a certain kind. Looking further ahead, the USAF said the "indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract" allowed for the purchase of up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators. To win the bid the team designed, developed, and flight tested two all-new, purpose-built jets showcasing the system's design, repeatability in manufacturing and training capability to Air Force officials.

The Air Force took a number of steps ahead of the T-X program to boost competition and buy down risk, service acquisition officials told reporters September 27 at the Pentagon. We at The War Zone have already noted that the size of T-X program could attract additional buyers, either in the form of USA allies or private contracts.

Boeing's joint bid with Swedish aerospace company Saab came in more than 50 percent below the Air Force's initial cost estimate, shutting out Lockheed and the USA subsidiary of Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica).

The original Air Force cost estimate for the program was $19.7 billion for 351 new trainers.

Pentagon officials credited the competition with trimming program costs by more than $10 billion.

"The announcement is good news for Saab, Boeing's main partner in the F-X program".

The T-X is a joint project between Boeing and Saab and will be built at Boeing's facility in St. Louis.

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