Raytheon will assemble the T-100 in Meridian, Miss., if it wins the Air Force’s T-X competition, the company announced Monday. The T-100 is a tailored version of the Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica) M-346 Master and would be powered by two Honeywell F124 engines. Rick Yuse, president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, said the site was chosen for final assembly because it “provides the right blend of infrastructure, proximity to our customers, government support, and a talent base that’s ready for the high tech jobs critical to our success,” according to a Raytheon release. CAE USA, Inc., which does modeling and simulation work, is also part of Raytheon’s T-100 team. Lockheed Martin will complete assembly of its entrant to replace the 50-plus-year-old T-38, the T-50A, at a Greenville, S.C., facility. Boeing hasn’t announced where the final assembly of its and Saab’s entrant for the T-X would occur if it wins, and Northrop Grumman hasn’t made any formal disclosures about its jet yet.
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.