Lockheed Martin is planning to offer the T-50A rather than a new Skunk Works design for the US Air Force's (USAF's) advanced pilot training (APT) competition.
The company, in collaboration with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), has jointly developed the T-50A to replace the T-38, as well as train the next generation of pilots to fly fifth-generation aircraft.
The company plans to build the T-50A for the USAF and for potential international customers at its Greenville Operations facility in South Carolina, US.
Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programmes (Skunk Works) executive vice-president and general manager Rob Weiss said: "The T-50A is production ready now.
"It is the only offering that meets all of the APT requirements and can deliver those capabilities on schedule.
"We carefully studied a clean-sheet option for the competition and determined that it posed excessive risk to the APT cost and schedule requirements."
It is reported that the T-50A configuration is a block upgrade of the existing T-50 design and the changes include aerial refueling capability, embedded training, open system architecture, and a fifth-generation cockpit.
The T-50A is claimed to deliver the fighter-like performance and capabilities needed to eliminate 5th Generation training gaps and inefficiencies.
The company's supplementary T-50A Ground-Based Training System (GBTS) features new technologies that deliver an immersive, synchronided training platform.
The agile T-50A GBTS applies lessons-learned from decades of training with new technologies to deliver a cost-effective advanced pilot training solution.
Image: The T-50A aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.