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12:31 PM, March 17, 2017
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Armed Scorpion Jet (Image:Textron Airland)

Textron will not be offering its Scorpion jet for the US Air Force $16.3 billion T-X trainer competition.

“The T-X program is seeking a class of aircraft with a set of capabilities focused on a very different mission than that of the Scorpion jet,” Textron Aviation said Wednesday.

“The company is pursuing numerous opportunities where the capabilities of the Scorpion jet align with the mission requirements of potential customers, including the USAF OA-X program,” Textron Aviation said.

Textron Aviation flew its first production-conforming Scorpion last December, and that airplane continues its flight testing.

The OA-X program is an Air Force evaluation of “off-the-shelf” airplanes aimed at providing close air support for US military forces and augmenting the Air Force’s current fleet of aging A-10 Warthogs. That evaluation is expected to happen this summer.

“We look forward to receiving additional information on the OA-X program as the USAF finalizes the requirements,” the company said.

Among the bidders for the T-X program, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems have decided not to submit a proposal for the US Air Force T-X Trainer program after carefully examining requirements and acquisition strategy as stated in the final request for proposals issued on Dec. 30, 2016.

Raytheon and Leonardo-Finmeccanica had jointly announced that they would not be participating in the US Air Force T-X trainer acquisition program in January this year. In February, Raytheon backed out and Leonardo decided to pursue the competition alone with its T-100 integrated Training Systems .

Northrop Grumman-BAE Systems team has backed out of the trainer program in Febraruy this year. “The companies have decided not to submit a proposal for the T-X Trainer program, as it would not be in the best interest of the companies and their shareholders,” the companies said in a joint statement on 2 February.

Boeing and its partner Saab AB have unveiled their two production T-X aircraft for the US Air Force trainer competition in September last year. The Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating and an advanced cockpit with embedded training.

Apart from Boeing-Saab, Lockheed Martin-KAI team is offering T-50A.

BAE systems-Northrop Grumman and L-3 systems were offering a new aircraft to the US.

T-X will replace the US Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial operating capability is planned for 2024.

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