Northrop Grumman awarded $22M for T-38, F5 engineering

The F-5 is mainly used for adversary combat tactics by the Marines and Air Force to simulate enemy aircraft. Photo courtesy Northrop Grumman

April 3 (UPI) — Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $22 million contract for engineering services on the Air Force’s T-38 Talon and F-5 Tiger II training aircraft.

Work will be performed at Northrop Grumman’s plant in Clearfield, Utah, and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2024, the U.S. Air Force announced Tuesday.

The T-38 Talon was the world’s first supersonic trainer when it entered service in 1961. Nearly 1,200 Talons were produced until 1972, and more than 500 are currently operational, according to Northrop Grumman. The Air Force, Navy and NASA use the trainers.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is extending the service life of the aircraft until at least 2020 by producing a replacement wing.

Student pilots fly the T-38A to learn supersonic techniques, aerobatics, formation, night and instrument flying and cross-country navigation, according to the U.S. Navy.

The F-5 is a twin-engine, tactical fighter mainly used for adversary combat tactics by the Marines and Air Force to simulate enemy aircraft in aerial combat training exercises, according to the U.S. Navy. The F-5N is a single seat simulator and the F-5F is a double seat.

The F-5, which was produced from 1964 to 1989, now serves as the primary trainer for F-16s, F/A-18s, F-15s or Mirage aircraft, according to Northrop Grumman.

In February, Northrop Grumman was awarded $16.8 million modification that provides aircraft inspections, repairs, overhauls, emergency repairs, modifications, engineering support and procurement of structural components required for the operation and sustainment of the F-5N/F aircraft.

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