Now It’s the Raytheon T-100

The T-100 trainer is back in the running for the Air Force’s T-X trainer competition, this time with a team headed by Raytheon. Raytheon and Finmeccanica officials, speaking at a Washington, D.C., press conference Monday, said the T-100 will offer a “proven and affordable” design for the T-X contest, but declined to provide many details. General Dynamics had been partnered with Finmeccanica’s Aermacchi on a T-100 offering for T-X, but withdrew almost exactly a year ago, saying its corporate organization had shifted, and suggesting that the T-100 was no longer a tight fit with evolving USAF requirements. Raytheon vice president for business development Jim Hvizd said, “We’re not picking up what was done with General Dynamics,” but asserted the company has taken a fresh look at the requirements and will adapt the T-100, based on the Aermacchi’s M-346 trainer, accordingly. Team officials pointed out that the aircraft is training pilots of the air forces of Italy, Israel, Singapore, and soon Poland. Hvzid emphasized that the Air Force is looking for “a whole system” for training, which includes ground-based simulators, training systems, and an aircraft, and he noted the final version of the jet will meet USAF’s needs. Raytheon was the prime contractor for USAF’s other trainers, the T-6 Texan II and T-1 Jayhawk. The M-346 aircraft started out as a co-development with Yakovlev of Russia, and is similar to the Yak-130 trainer. (See also Teeing Up the T-X from the June 2015 issue of Air Force Magazine.)