T-38 Talon

CPI Aerostructures has secured a contract to provide structural modification kits for the US Air Force’s (USAF) T-38C Pacer Classic III (PC III) aircraft structural modification programme.

The $49m indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract was awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. It will see the firm supply 74 modification kits in support of the Phase II of the modification programme.

Specifically, CPI Aero will provide the necessary integration of kits, programme management, logistics, discrepancy reporting / resolution, as well as sub-contract management.

CPI Aero president and CEO Douglas McCrosson said: "This new contract recognises our excellent past performance as a prime contractor on the T-38 platform dating back to 2001 and is a validation of our strategy to create a revenue stream from our investment in creating world class engineering, supply chain management and programme management capabilities.

"This new contract recognises CPI’s excellent past performance as a prime contractor on the T-38 platform dating back to 2001."

"Additionally, we will require support from and will work closely with Northrop Grumman, a cooperation which will further strengthen our already excellent relationship with this important customer."

Northrop Grumman Technical Services is already supporting the requirements for Phase I by supplying up to 51 modification kits.

The PC III upgrade programme aims to enhance the aircraft’s operational capability, while improving flight safety, reliability, and maintainability.

In particular, the programme is designed to replace vital, fatigue sensitive structural items including steel dorsal longerons, cockpit longerons, the upper / lower centre longerons, as well as associated bulkheads / formers, skins, and floors.

Work under the contract starts immediately and will continue over the next five years, with an anticipated delivery period of six years, ending in February 2021.

The T-38CTalon is built by Northrop. It is a two-seat, supersonic jet trainer used by the Air Education Training Command as an advanced trainer for specialised undergraduate pilot training.

The aircraft is also operated by the US Navy and Nasa, as well as the armed forces of Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

Image: A USAF T-38 Talon aircraft flying over Texas, US. Photo: courtesy of SSGT Jeffrey Allen, USAF.