Lockheed Martin’s Other T-X

In addition to its agreement with Korean Aerospace to offer the T-50 trainer in the Air Force’s upcoming T-X competition, Lockheed Martin also has a new design in hand, said Rob Weis, executive VP and general manager of the company’s Skunkworks advanced projects division, at a Lockheed Martin media event in Arlington, Va. Wednesday. Weis said Skunkworks has been working on a T-X “since 2010,” and will offer it instead of the T-50 if the Air Force’s T-X requirements—due out to industry within weeks—match the new design better. The T-50 is the default offering if USAF’s broad requirements—a low-risk, low overall cost design that could be quickly delivered based on an existing, off-the-shelf aircraft—don’t change much, Weis said. Skunkworks is not just involved in aircraft design but has also been working on embedded simulation, a modernized cockpit, and other aspects of the training system it thinks the Air Force will want, he noted. He suggested either aircraft will feature a flat-panel cockpit display like that in the F-35, the better to help pilots transition to fifth generation aircraft. The company has not yet decided where in the US it would build the T-X—either version—if it wins the contest, he said.