Boeing Unveils “Purpose-Built” Air Force Trainer In Must-Win T-X Competition (From National Interest)

Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D.

Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D.

On September 13, Boeing revealed the plane that it hopes will win the Air Force’s T-X trainer competition.  Four teams are vying for the right to deliver 350 trainers and associated ground equipment such as simulators.  T-X will replace aging T-38 trainers used in the preparation of pilots for flying fighters and bombers; the Air Force’s current fleet of 500 T-38s averages over 40 years of age.  Even if it were not a safety and maintenance challenge, the T-38 would be ill-suited to the instruction of pilots who will operate stealthy, digitized, networked aircraft.  Boeing’s clean-sheet solution is designed to mimic the performance of the latest combat aircraft in an affordable, easily modified airframe.  I have written a commentary for The National Interest here.