Sept. 28 (UPI) — Boeing has won the bidding contest for the Air Force’s T-X Advanced Pilot Training program, with the service awarding it a $9.2 billion contract to provide up to 475 aircraft over the next two decades.
The contract, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, includes an $813 million initial order under the program, which has Boeing providing engineering and manufacturing development of the APT aircraft and ground-based training systems.
The Boeing T-X, designed and developed with Saab, will provide two models of aircraft for the program, which seeks to replace the decades-old Northrop T-38 Talon.
The deal anticipates delivery of 351 aircraft, 46 associated training devices and other supplies and service, including initial spares, support equipment, sustainment and training. The contract has a ceiling of 475 aircraft and 120 ground-based training systems.
The initial order will cover engineering and manufacturing of the first five aircraft and seven training simulators, according to Saab.
The award “is a direct result of our joint investment in developing a system centered on the unique requirements of the U.S. Air Force. We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century,” Leanne Caret, president and CEO for Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said in a statement.
Work on the contract is mostly expected to be done in St. Louis, Mo., though the company said about 90 percent of the T-X will be made in the U.S., with production supporting about 17,000 jobs in 34 states.
The Air Force has obligated $33.6 million in fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds at the time of award.
Håkan Buskhe, president and CEO of Saab, in a statement called the contract “a major accomplishment for our partnership with Boeing and our joint team, and I look forward to delivering the first trainer aircraft to the U.S. Air Force.”