Leonardo DRS has selected a location in Tuskegee, Alabama to set up a new aircraft manufacturing facility to produce its T-100 integrated jet training system should it be selected by the U.S. Air Force to provide the next-generation trainer.
In a press release, Leonardo says it selected Moton Field Municipal Airport i because of the skilled workforce, expansive airfield infrastructure and strong local and state resources supporting economic development in the region.
“We believe that consolidating the T-100 integrator and airframe manufacturer under one roof streamlines the proposal’s management and our bid will deliver the best value for money to the U.S. Air Force,” said Leonardo DRS CEO William J. Lynn, prime contractor for the T-100 Team.
“American military pilots can train on the world’s most operationally proven, low-cost, low-risk integrated training system and the local economy will benefit from the development of a new centre of excellence building high quality jobs.” said Mauro Moretti, CEO and General Manager of Leonardo, explaining that “The T-100 features an embedded training system, fifth-generation cockpit, open system architecture and in-flight refuelling capability and is designed to receive mission-focused next-generation enhancements to meet the demanding requirements by the U.S. Air Force”.
Leonardo was earlier partnered with Raytheon for the T-X competition, with plans to assemble T-100s in Meridian, Mississippi. In January, the companies said they have shelved the plans for collaborating.
The Air Force plans to award a contract this year for the program’s engineering and manufacturing development phase and production of 350 new jets and ground-based training systems, an estimated $16.3 billion acquisition.
Among other contenders, Lockheed Martin is offering T-50 Golden Eagle trainer and Boeing rolled out its new-build BTX jet from its St. Louis manufacturing facility in September.