In a major and long-awaited announcement, the U.S. Air Force has selected Boeing-Saab team to produce at least 351 units of the Service’s next jet trainer. (Indeed, the just-awarded $9.2 billion ID/IQ (indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity) contract will allow the USAF to buy up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators, the Air Force said in a September 27 statement, although the current plan is to buy 351 T-X aircraft, 46 simulators and associated ground equipment.)
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of unwavering focus by the Boeing and Saab team,” said Leanne Caret, President & CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “It is a direct result of our joint investment in developing a system centered on the unique requirements of the U.S. Air Force. We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century.”
Boeing and its risk-sharing partner Saab designed, developed, and flight tested two all-new, purpose-built jets ― proving out the system’s design, repeatability in manufacturing and training capability.
“This selection allows our two companies to deliver on a commitment we jointly made nearly five years ago,” said Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab. “It is a major accomplishment for our partnership with Boeing and our joint team, and I look forward to delivering the first trainer aircraft to the Air Force.”
Boeing is now clear to begin placing orders with its suppliers, including Saab. More than 90 percent of Boeing’s offering will be made in America, supporting more than 17,000 jobs in 34 states.
Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defense and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.
The Boeing-Saab offering — which was favored to win by industry analysts — bested proposals by Lockheed Martin-Korean Aerospace Industries as well as Leonardo DRS.