USAF T-X Win Could Be Just the Start for New Boeing/Saab Aircraft

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, and Carter Palmer, Power Systems SpecialistForecast International.

Boeing/Saab T-X Trainer. Source – Boeing

On September 27, Boeing and Saab emerged as the winning team in the U.S. Air Force’s T-X advanced jet trainer contest.  The Air Force chose the team’s all-new, clean-sheet aircraft to replace its fleet of some 444 Northrop T-38Cs.  The service awarded Boeing an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, worth up to $9.2 billion, for the program.  The contract includes an initial delivery order, valued at $813.4 million, for five engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft and seven simulators. Continue reading

Shifts and Changes in Line-Up of T-X Contenders

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

US Air Force T-38 Talon Trainer

The U.S. Air Force’s T-X advanced trainer program is one of the biggest prizes in the military aircraft market in the near future.  This is due to the scale of the program itself:  under the program, the Air Force intends to buy 350 advanced jet trainers to replace its fleet of Northrop T-38Cs.  In addition, the winning T-X aircraft will be in a position to become perhaps the leading competitor in the future global market for advanced jet trainers. Continue reading

New NG Gripen to Debut in May; Sea Gripen to Follow

by Carter Palmer, Military Aircraft Inventories Specialist, Forecast International.

A Saab JAS-39E Gripen in flight over the ocean.

A Saab JAS-39E Gripen in flight over the ocean. Source – Wikipedia.

As a cost-effective means of entering the generation 4+ club, the Gripen, dubbed Saab’s Smart Fighter, serves as a desirable option on the international fighter market.  The new NG model will surely create a sensation when unveiled on May 18.  Equipped with the latest fighter technology, the Gripen, it seems, has made a niche for itself among countries looking to spend less. Brazil has recently ordered 36 of the fighters, joining a list of small, economically conscious operators. So what is the next step for Gripen? Continue reading

USAF Postpones T-X RFP

by Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50A. Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50A is being offered for the T-X competition.  Source: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Air Force Program Executive Officer for Mobility has delayed issuance of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the T-X advanced pilot training program by three months.  The program office now expects the RFP to be released in late December 2016.   The postponement follows completion of an internal review regarding the program’s remaining tasks, and is intended to ensure the release of a well-defined RFP. Continue reading

Swiss Combat Aircraft Capability Continues to Shrink

by Dan Darling, Forecast International.

Swiss Air Force F-5E Tiger II

Swiss Air Force F-5E Tiger II

Age and wear are taking a toll on the Swiss Air Force’s combat aircraft capability. The service’s 36 F-5 Tigers – purchased in 1976 and 1981, with deliveries following in 1978 and 1984, respectively – are suffering from aging airframes. A crack was discovered in the supporting structure of a single-seat F-5E variant during a major overhaul project of the fleet in 2014, which resulted in a fleet-wide inspection of all E and F (two-seat) types.

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