The aviation circles had been chirping and gossiping around the arrival of this beast. And after testing and teasing the patience of many, Boeing and Saab have finally ended the mystery after taking the wraps off their magnificent T-X military jet training aircraft in St. Louis this week.
The T-X military jet has surpassed all predictions and expectations, and the single-engine, two-seater aircraft is truly a masterpiece when it comes to engineering perfection. The aircraft has been designed in particular to replace the US Air Force’s fleet of T-38 trainers with a new and improved fifth-generation fighters.
Boeing and Saab have created two versions of T-X aircraft, which are built from blank-sheet and are designed specifically to meet Air Force training requirements for pilots. Similar requirements are being currently fulfilled by fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II, but according to Boeing this new cheap, flexible, and easily modifiable technology will take it to another level.
With a sleek, greyhound-like design. a powerful engine and twin tails inspired by Boeing’s F/A-18; the plane gives greater manoeuvrability and a higher angle of attack than ever before. It also entails an advanced cockpit with embedded training software and the ability to blend with state-of-the-art ground-based training.
The manufacturers claim that the plane is maintenance friendly, and are also very quick to be delivered. The current two aircraft will be followed by three more in a bid to demonstrate quick delivery of the off-the-shelf aircraft.
If the companies are successful in impressing the air force, this could turn out to be a multi-billion contract as they will probably receive an order of at least 350 aircraft. T-X is bidding to replace the Air Force’s fleet of 400 T-38 aircraft that have been in service for over half a century, and the first of these new aircraft will start serving as soon as 2024.
This will be a huge win for Boeing, who has had a history of losing out to the likes of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman when it comes to war planes. Also, these kind of training aircraft can also be sold to secondary overseas markets, so there is a huge market for it.
But while the plane is very impressive, it faces stiff competition from the partnership of Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries, as well as Northrop Grumman, Alenia Aermacchi, and Textron AirLand.
Watch the plane being prepared for a roll-out in the video below:
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