General Dynamics [GD] and Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aermacchi is the latest team to declare its bid for the Air Force’s T-X trainer jet program, according to a General Dynamics statement.
The duo, which made their announcement recently, will offer a fully-integrated advanced pilot training system built around Alenia’s T-100, a market variant of the company’s M-346 military aircraft trainer. As the prime contractor, General Dynamics will bring experience in systems integration and subcontract management to deliver an Advanced Pilot Training (APT) Family of Systems consisting of aircraft, flight simulation devices, multimedia classrooms and logistics support.
A request for proposals (RFP) is anticipated for last quarter 2013 or first quarter 2014, according to officials. The Air Force has a goal of 2017 to get T-X trainers in its fleet.
Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and L-3 Communications [LLL] are partnering to offer the Hawk Advanced Jet Training System (AJTS), which will be manufactured in the United States. BAE spokeswoman Lisa Hillary-Tee said the company is acting as prime contractor for the team with L-3 providing the ground based training system. Hillary-Tee said Northrop Grumman will manage the building and final assembling of the aircraft.
A Lockheed Martin [LMT]/Korea Aerospace team will offer Lockheed Martin’s T-50 for the program. Lockheed Martin spokesman B.J. Boiling recently said the two companies will work together on engineering development of the T-X with a key Lockheed Martin focus of standing up, and operating, an affordable final assembly and checkout facility. Boeing [BA] also plans to compete for the T-X program, spokeswoman Karen Fincutter confirmed. Fincutter did not specify what Boeing planned to offer. The T-100 Integrated Training System will incorporate any unique Air Force requirements and will be built in the United States with an emphasis on U.S.-made components and equipment. Alenia’s M-346 is an advanced jet trainer training air forces around the world to operate fourth- and fifth-generation combat aircraft.
The T-X program will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 trainer jets and related training systems. The T-38 is developed by Northrop Grumman [NOC].
Assuming a 20-year program cycle, the T-X program has a potential value of more than $30 billion, observers say.