Alabama Loses T-100 Project
Boeing wins $9.2 Billion Contract
Alabama was pitching Tuskegee for the T-100 production facility, using the Tuskegee Airmen tie-in.
“We want the legacy of the Airman to not just to be a museum, something you look back at 75 years ago…” explained Joe Turnham, Director of Macon County Economic Development, “we want them to come to a brand new factory making a 21st Century product nobody else is making so that the Tuskegee Airmen legacy is a look forward and a look back effort”.
But it was not to be.
The official announcement from the U.S.Air Force:
ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — The Air Force awarded The Boeing Company a contract worth up to $9.2 billion for the Air Force’s new training aircraft Sept. 27.
The Air Force currently plans to purchase 351 T-X aircraft, 46 simulators, and associated ground equipment to replace the Air Education and Training Command’s 57-year-old fleet of T-38C Talons.
The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract allows the Air Force to purchase up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators. The contract is designed to offer taxpayers the best value both today and in the future should requirements change.
“This new aircraft will provide the advanced training capabilities we need to increase the lethality and effectiveness of future Air Force pilots,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson said. “Through competition we will save at least $10 billion on the T-X program.”
The original service cost estimate was $19.7 billion for 351 aircraft.
The T-X program is expected to provide student pilots in undergraduate- and graduate-level training courses with the skills and competencies required to transition to 4th- and 5th-generation fighter and bomber aircraft.
“This is all about joint warfighting excellence; we need the T-X to optimize training for pilots heading into our growing fleet of fifth-generation aircraft,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “This aircraft will enable pilot training in a system similar to our fielded fighters, ultimately enhancing joint lethality.”
The first T-X aircraft and simulators are scheduled to arrive at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in 2023. All undergraduate pilot training bases will eventually transition from the T-38 to the T-X. Those bases include: Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB, Texas; Sheppard AFB, Texas and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.
An initial delivery order for $813 million provides for the engineering and manufacturing development of the first five aircraft and seven simulators.
The contract supports the Air Force’s objective of an initial operational capability by 2024 and full operational capability by 2034.
“This outcome is the result of a well-conceived strategy leveraging full and open competition,” said Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics. “It’s acquisition’s silver bullet.”
From Secretary of Commerce GregCanfield—-
“While we are disappointed that the Air Force chose an alternate for Leonardo DRS and the T-100 as its next jet trainer aircraft, it’s extremely positive that Tuskegee’s Moton Field has been recognized internationally as an ideal site for an aerospace project. Leonardo DRS is a world-class company, and their team has been great to work with throughout the selection process. Additionally, I commend officials at the City of Tuskegee, Macon County and Tuskegee University for their hard work on this project, which has united the community and the region. In particular, Joe Turnham, who put his heart and soul into the project, deserves special recognition.”