(Barré) #1

Boeing has been awarded the T-X Pilot
Training Program contract by the USAF. The
$9.2bn deal, announced on September 27,
is for 351 new jet trainers to replace the air
force’s ageing Northrop T-38C Talons and
also includes 46 simulators and associated
ground equipment. The  rst T-X aircraft and
simulators are scheduled to arrive at Joint
Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in

  1. All undergraduate pilot training bases
    will eventually transition from the T-38 to the
    T-X. Those stations include: Columbus AFB,
    Mississippi; Laughlin AFB, Texas; Sheppard
    AFB, Texas and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.
    Initial operating capability for the new

aircraft with the USAF is planned for 2024
and full operational capability by 2034.
Boeing and its risk-sharing partner
Saab designed, built and  ew the  rst T-X
in only 36 months. The twin-tail trainer
is powered by a single General Electric
F404 afterburning engine that produces in
the region of 17,700-19,000lb (78-80.5kN)
thrust, compared with the two GE J-85s
of the T-38, which pump out some 2,900lb
(12.9kN) each.
The hard-fought competition to replace
the 57-year-old T-38  eet began in March

  1. Strong interest was shown by several
    manufacturers, with contractor teams led

by Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Leonardo,
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon being
widely reported as being at the forefront.
Raytheon withdrew from the competition
in January 2017, and Northrop Grumman
decided not to bid. Others fell by the
wayside, with the  nal candidates being
Boeing’s design, the Leonardo DRS
T-100 (based on the M-346 Master) and
the Lockheed Martin T-50A. With Saab’s
support, Boeing built two T-X demonstration
aircraft, the  rst of which – N381TX –
completed its  rst  ight from St Louis,
Missouri, on December 20, 2016. The
second jet, N382TX,  ew on April 24, 2017.

The Westland Sea King ended nearly half
a century of British military service on
September 26 when the last three airworthy
ASaC7s with 849 Naval Air Squadron
(NAS)  ew from RNAS Culdrose to HMS
Sultan near Portsmouth.
Two aircraft had previously undertaken
a farewell  ypast around southwest
England on September 19. The airborne

surveillance and control variant  ew its  nal
operational mission supporting Operation
Kipion in the Gulf at the end of June. The
ASaC7s are to be replaced by modi ed
Merlin HM2s from the second quarter of
next year.

http://www.aviation-news.co.uk 5

Sea King ASaC7 Farewell

USAF T-X Contract Awarded to Boeing

The  nal three Sea King ASaC7s arriving at
HMS Sultan on September 26. MoD/Crown
copyright 2018

Boeing has won the contract to supply the USAF with 351 new
T-X jet trainer aircraft to replace its ageing T-38  eet. Boeing

This month has been distinguished by some major
news stories, including two important aircraft types
at different ends of their careers. The  rst landing
of an F-35B on the aircraft carrier HMS Queen
Elizabeth marks the start of a new era for the Royal
Navy. While it was curtains for the Sea King in UK
military service with the last ASaC7s retired.
In the US, the Boeing and Saab team’s new
jet trainer design was declared the victor in the
USAF’s T-X competition. The American company,
this time working with Leonardo, also secured an
order for MH-139s to replace the USAF UH-1Ns.
On the civil side, the  rst delivery of an Airbus
A350-900 ULR to Singapore Airlines represents
another milestone for this successful type (for more
on the A350 see the article starting on p36). Not
such good news was the collapse of Primera Air
after 14 years of operations.
There’s certainly plenty going on in the world of
aviation to fascinate and enthral. You can keep up
to date with the latest developments by checking
the magazine’s website (www.aviation-news.co.uk)
as well as our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Also,
we now have a weekly newsletter – by visiting our
website you can easily sign up to receive the latest
news direct to your inbox.
With so much to tell you, we hope you enjoy this
month’s magazine.

Dino Carrara
[email protected]

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