CAE USA is joining a General Dynamics [GD]-led team that also includes Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aermacchi to bid for the Air Force’s multi-billion dollar T-X trainer program, according to a company spokesman.

The team will offer a fully-integrated advanced pilot training system build around Alenia’s T-100, a market variant of the company’s M-346 military aircraft trainer. General Dynamics will bring experience in systems integration and subcontract management to deliver an Advanced Pilot Training (ATP) family of systems consisting of aircraft, flight simulation devices, multimedia classrooms and logistics support. CAE USA spokesman Chris Stellwag said Thursday the company will provide the ground-based training system, which includes a simulator, training devices, courseware and curriculum.

Northrop Grumman's T-38 trainer. Photo: Air Force.
Northrop Grumman’s T-38 trainer. Photo: Air Force.

The Air Force has moved back its target for getting the long-delayed T-X trainer into the fleet from 2017 to 2023 or 2024, service Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said in June. The new target is at least 10 years later than the original goal of late 2013 or early 2014 for the potentially $30 billion program. The T-X trainer is to replace the legacy T-38 trainer jets and related training systems.

A number of other industry teams have announced their intent to bid for T-X. Boeing [BA] and Sweden’s Saab AB are teaming with Boeing acting as prime contractor and Saab as primary partner to offer a brand new offering not based on any previous aircraft. Their joint development agreement (JDA) covers areas including design, development, production, support, sales and marketing (Defense Daily, Dec. 10).

A team of Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman [NOC] and L-3 Communications [LLL] also announced their intent to bid for T-X. BAE is pitching its Hawk Advanced Jet Training System (AJTS), Rolls-Royce is supplying its Adour Mk951 engine and Northrop Grumman is managing the build and final assembly of the Hawk aircraft (Defense Daily, Sept. 13).

A Lockheed Martin– [LMT] Korea Aerospace team will enter Lockheed Martin’s T-50 for the program. The two companies will work together on engineering development of T-X with a key Lockheed Martin focus of standing up, and operating, an affordable final assembly and checkout facility.

The news of CAE joining the GD-Alenia team was first reported by Defense News.