The Northrop Grumman-led team of contractors in a competition to build a new trainer jet for the Air Force will offer a new airplane design for the $1 billion program, Aviation Week reported Friday.
Amy Butler writes Northrop’s Scaled Composites subsidiary will work on the design for the intended T-38 replacement jet and aims to conduct the first flight by the end of 2015.
Butler reports Northrop became the third U.S. company to offer a new design for the T-X trainer program along with the Boeing–Saab team and a Textron–AirLand Enterprises joint venture that is looking at three variants of its Scorpion plane.
Northrop took over the prime contractor role for its team last year from BAE Systems and the group also includes L-3 Communications and Rolls-Royce.
According to the report, Northrop and BAE are discussing a potential plan to incorporate the latter company’s training system into the team’s plane design.
The team of Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries will offer a version of KAI’s T-50 trainer jet and the General Dynamics–Alenia Aermacchi partnership will propose a variant of the latter company’s M-346 plane, according to the report.
The Air Force plans to use the T-X plane to train F-22 and F-35 pilots, Butler reports.
Aviation Week reports the Air Force intends to award a contract for the T-X by the end of fiscal year 2017 and has budgeted $575 million for the program in fiscal years 2016 through 2019.