USAF to delay T-X trainer aircraft programme


The US Air Force (USAF) has revealed plans to delay the T-X trainer aircraft programme.

The USAF is set to further refine the request for proposals (RfP) for its T-X fighter trainer competition aimed at replacing the service's ageing T-38 Talon aircraft fleet.

A notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website read: "The programme office now anticipates an RfP release in late December 2016 to ensure the release of a well-defined RfP."

"The programme office now anticipates an RfP release in late December 2016 to ensure the release of a well-defined RfP."

The latest development will see the new aircraft reaching full operational capability from 2032 to 2034, two years later than the previously scheduled time frame.

The US Air Force T-X programme will comprise aircraft and training, which will prepare warfighters for the next 40 years.

The air force intends to replace the T-38 with a new advanced pilot training family of systems and around 350 aircraft, along with associated ground-based training systems and logistics and sustainment support.

The USAF seeks three key performance characteristics for the advanced pilot training mission, including sustained G, simulator visual acuity and performance, and aircraft sustainment, with focus on embedded training with synthetic sensors and data link.

The USAF requires the T-X system to serve in a 'red air' or adversary role, during live-fly exercises, and has already set aside $40m across the Future Year Defence Plan in Stores-Aircraft Interface funds in 2016 budget as a wedge to provide future planning or development options related to T-X.