Le Bourget, France —Although the Air Force’s requirements might leave room for a “clean-sheet design” to be its future T-X trainer aircraft, budget pressure most likely will oblige the service to opt for an off-the-shelf design, USAF acquisition executive David Van Buren said Tuesday. Speaking here at the Paris Air Show, Van Buren said he can’t say service officials would rule out a brand-new airplane, but “I feel there will be increasing budget pressures” compelling the service to modernize “in the best way,” and that is likely to be an existing aircraft. Without elaborating, though, Van Buren suggested that the Air Force may delay T-X. “The budget is going to impact the timing of the program,” he said.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.