Leonardo has confirmed its participation in the US Air Force $16.3 billion T-X trainer competition alone.
Leonardo late last month withdrew the bid along with its partner Raytheon. Leonardo will now bid solo with its T-100 integrated training system with its subsidiary DRS as the prime contractor.
“Leonardo’s commitment to pursue the T-X builds on our deep experience in military pilots’ training and on the competitiveness of our T-100 integrated Training Systems that can meet the US Air Force’s current and future needs” said Mauro Moretti, CEO and General Manager of Leonardo in a statement Wednesday.
Northrop Grumman-BAE Systems team has backed out of the trainer program earlier this month. 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 this year.
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. Raytheon-Leonardo and CAE were offering T-100 based on M-346 design.
T-X will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial operating capability is planned for 2024.