Boeing Wins $9.2B Contract for New Air Force Training Jet

Air Force turns to Boeing for $9.2 billion training aircraft contract

Boeing's $9.2 billion military jet win will mean hundreds of jobs for this North Texas manufacturer

The deal anticipates delivery of 351 aircraft, 46 associated training devices and other supplies and service, including initial spares, support equipment, sustainment and training.

Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Aerospace consultancy Teal Group, said the T-X could be the "last training aircraft of its kind", noting that remotely-piloted drones could replace piloted planes by the time the Air Force orders another model.

Boeing will deliver the first T-X aircraft and simulators in 2023.

Boeing Defence, Space and Security chief executive Leanne Caret paid tribute to everyone who had worked on the Boeing and Saab bid.

Earlier in the week, Boeing, in partnership with Italy's Leonardo, won the Air Force's $375.5 million contract for new helicopters to replace its UH-1N Hueys, which is also a firm, fixed-price arrangement. The T-X offered by Boeing is a new aircraft based on a design perfected for the Air Forces' requirement.

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But in the past month Boeing has won a string of major military contracts that should pad its coffers for decades. Those bases include Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB, Texas; Sheppard AFB, Texas and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.

The contract allows the Air Force to eventually purchase up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators.

Boeing beat out Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Leonardo DRS. "We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century", Caret said in a statement. The Air Force offered further information in its own statement and in comments to reporters, according to Defense News.

Boeing partnered with Saab to bid for the program.

Saab said that more than 90 percent of Boeing's offering will be accomplished in the United States, backing up more than 17,000 jobs in around 34 states.

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It's been a long race for the right to build the U.S. Air Force's next trainer jet, but the competition finally has a victor.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson noted that the original cost estimate for the program was $19.7 billion.

Lockheed Martin, the defense giant that builds the F-35, entered the competition with a plane it called the T-50 and which was derived from the F-16 Falcon.

Boeing and Saab's T-X.

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