Lockheed Martin on Tuesday opened a facility in Greenville, S.C., that will house manufacturing and training equipment for its T-50A—its entry in the competition to field the Air Force’s T-X trainer. The Advanced Pilot Training building will be used to complete assembly on the aircraft, which is being jointly developed with Korea Aerospace Industries. The facility also will hold the trainer’s Ground Based Training System, according to a Lockheed release. The T-50A, a modified version of the T-50 trainer Lockheed helped Korean Aerospace Industries design for the Republic of Korea Air Force, flew for the first time in June. A second aircraft recorded its initial test flight in July. Lockheed is offering the T-50A as a low-risk option to replace the service’s T-38, first produced in the 1960s. (See also: Teeing up the T-X from the June 2015 issue of Air Force Magazine.)
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.