Boeing has announced it will partner with Sweden’s SAAB Group to bid on the proposed T-X—an all-new jet trainer and associated training aids to replace USAF’s legacy T-38 Talon fleet, the company announced. “Teaming with Saab will bring together our companies’ formidable technical expertise, global presence, and willingness to present an adaptable and affordable advanced pilot training solution,” said Boeing military aircraft division President Chris Chadwick. The companies signed the joint development agreement in anticipation of the Air Force’s upcoming T-X competition to provide some 350 trainers, simulators, and fleet support, according to Boeing’s Dec. 6 release. Boeing previously joined forces with BAE Systems to supply the Navy’s T-45 Goshawk, but elected for a clean slate approach to T-X. BAE Systems announced in 2011 it would partner with Northrop Grumman in the T-X competition. “Our comprehensive family of systems approach provides a new, purpose-built T-X aircraft…to offer total-life-cycle cost benefits to the U.S. Air Force and taxpayers,” explained Chadwick. The future of T-X remains uncertain as USAF officials try to figure out how to pay for the new trainer under a sequester-level budget.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.