Boeing awarded $9.2 billion contract to build new Air Force trainer

Boeing awarded $9.2 billion contract to build new Air Force trainer

Boeing awarded $9.2 billion contract to build new Air Force trainer

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.

"The Air Force now plans to purchase 351 T-X aircraft, 46 simulators, and associated ground equipment", the Air Force said in a statement announcing the award. It positions Boeing to potentially replace Navy trainers once the service begins to phase out its aging T-45 fleet, said Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners.

Boeing announced that it has won the contract via a tweet.

Saab has offered to establish manufacturing and production capability in the United States for its Boeing/Saab T-X advanced trainer aircraft. Boeing's military arm has been eclipsed by the rapid growth of its commercial-jet unit this decade. A 2016 study found only 60 percent of the Air Force's existing T-38 fleet to be "mission-capable", complicating the service's efforts to mend a persistent pilot shortage.

Boeing lost a bid for the manufacturing of stealth bombers for the Air Force in a competition against Northrop Grumman Corp.in 2015.

The T-38 replacement program has been under development for 15 years now.

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Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson noted that the original cost estimate for the program was $19.7 billion.

On both the KC-46 and T-X, Boeing's hopes of recouping its costs depend on further overseas sales after the US military decision.

The partnership between Boeing and Saab was one of three teamings that competed for T-X, with Lockheed Martin teamed with Korean Aerospace, and Leonardo DRS. "We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century", Caret said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Boeing to provide support for the training of its skilled workforce and other incentives that will allow Boeing to meet its obligations to the U.S. Air Force".

"Through competition we will save at least $10 billion on the T-X program", she said in a statement.

St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded. It is designed from the scratch to meet the U.S. Air Force demands unlike the KAI-Lockheed Martin team's T-50A.

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