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Boeing will provide the US Air Force with new training aircraft

The consortium of the American concern Boeing and the Swedish company Saab received a contract from the US Air Force to supply 351 training aircraft of the new generation, having won the tender TX. According to  Defense News, the companies have bypassed the consortiums Lockheed Martin and KAI, as well as Raytheon and Leonardo, offering the military much less cost to develop and produce a new aircraft. According to the US Air Force, initially the TX program was estimated at $ 19.7 billion, but Boeing’s proposal reduces it by almost 10 billion.

The US Air Force announced a tender for the development of a new training aircraft in 2016. Initially, the results of the contest were planned to be summed up in 2017. A new plane, the US military intends to replace the outdated T-38 Talon, used today for the training of pilots. According to preliminary plans, the initial operational readiness (acceptance for service) for a new training aircraft will be announced in 2024. On these “flying desks” pilots of the US Air Force will undergo extensive flight training.

Consortia Lockheed Martin and KAI, as well as Raytheon and Leonardo offered the US military the ready-made aircraft T-50A Golden Eagle and T-100 (based on the Italian M-346 Master). In turn, TX consortium Boeing and Saab was developed from scratch, but with the use of developments received by companies for the projects of the F / A-18E / F Super Hornet and JAS-39 Gripen fighters. This training aircraft made the first flight  in December 2016 and has since undergone flight tests.

According to the requirements of the US Air Force, the new training aircraft should have a cockpit similar to that of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighters. On TX, communication systems, warnings about radar exposure, multifunction displays and equipment with the ability to simulate data from the radar should be installed. On-board equipment TX should be able to simulate the use of different types of weapons.

The airframe must withstand an overload of at least 6.5g for at least 15 seconds in a dive with a fuel mass of 80 percent of the full load at a flight altitude of three to six thousand meters. On-board systems must withstand overloads of 7.5g and acceleration growth rates of at least 3g per second. Finally, the aircraft must withstand and instantaneously change the angular velocity of rotation at 12 degrees per second and the rate of steady turn at nine degrees per second.

Following the tender, the US Air Force concluded a contract with Boeing for the delivery of five TX aircraft and seven simulators to them. The deal amounted to 813 million dollars. The first simulators will be delivered in 2023. After the completion of this contract and a full test cycle, the military will increase the purchase of aircraft to 351 units, and simulators to 46 pieces. It is not ruled out that the delivery volumes will increase to 475 units, and simulators to 120 pieces. The total cost of the expanded contract will be 9.2 billion dollars.

In late August this year, Boeing won the tender of the US Navy for the development and production of deck unmanned aerial vehicles – tankers MQ-25 Stingray. Following the tender, the company received a contract from the US Navy for the development, production and testing of the first four drones. The deal amounted to $ 805 million. After the successful completion of this stage, the concern may receive a contract for the production of another 68 drones. The total cost of the MQ-25 project including an additional batch of machines is estimated at $ 13 billion.

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