Boeing’s decision to assemble its T-X US Air Force (USAF) training jet at its St. Louis, MI/USA facility is expected to support approximately 1,800 jobs in the region. If the USAF chooses Boeing to help train pilots for generations to come, T-X will be the newest project for a community that has produced some of the most acclaimed military aircraft of the past seven decades.
The first two new, purpose-built T-X aircraft have proven the design’s low-risk, performance and repeatability in manufacturing.
“Our highly skilled St. Louis workforce designed, assembled and brought Boeing T-X to life, and they continue to define the future, not just for our company, but for our customers and the global aerospace industry,” Shelley Lavender, St. Louis Senior Executive and President of Boeing Military Aircraft, said.
Boeing T-X is a training system designed specifically for the USAF training mission. It will replace the service’s fleet of aging T-38 aircraft. The initial acquisition, for 350 aircraft and the associated ground-based training and support, is valued at up to $16 billion. Initial operating capability is planned for 2024. The contract award is expected by the end of the year.
Boeing and its partner Saab completed the first flight of the second T-X on 24 April in St. Louis. The second production-ready T-X aircraft is identical to the first T-X. During the one-hour flight, lead T-X Test Pilot Steve Schmidt and Boeing Test Pilot for Air Force Programs Matt Giese validated key aspects of the aircraft and further demonstrated the low-risk and performance of the design, proving its repeatability in manufacturing.
If Boeing and Saab’s trainer wins the competition, the Swedish Air Force will put serious thought into buying it. If this is not the case, Sweden will likely go for a much less expensive turboprop training aircraft, a Swedish Air Force official said during the Saab Media Trip last week.