USAF to address newly released draft of T-X programme KPPs

Contributor:  Richard de Silva
Posted:  01/16/2013  12:00:00 AM EST
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U.S. Air Force T-X Programme Manager, Colonel Dale Van Dusen, is set to speak in March at the Military Flight Training 2013 event in London to discuss the requirement and meet with industry providers ahead of a formal request for proposals for the future advanced trainer platform.

Last October, USAF released the long-awaited set of draft key performance parameters for its upcoming T-X jet trainer designed to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon.

The potential package is believed to include up to 350 robust and highly capable aircraft, as well as associated courseware and simulator technology.

Boeing, who is sponsoring the event with several other leading defence firms, is expected to have decided on its submission by the start of 2013 and which is believed to be a clean-sheet design.

The approach of working on a completely new build is engineered to offer the Pentagon a system that reduces development risk and is ultimately far more cost-effective than an established platform.

Fellow sponsor Lockheed Martin is pitching into the competition with the T-50 Multirole Trainer, designed and built in conjunction with Korea Aerospace Industries, initially for the purposes of training Republic of Korean forces. However, Lockheed has stated that the trainer was also built with the intention of taking the T-38 spot and may move production to the United States should USAF accept its entry.

In addition, Ascent, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Babcock International, will be managing the procurement process for the U.K.’s Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) to contract a holistic training service, including a new fixed-wing trainer for 2015.

Today’s pilots, particularly those in the U.S. and other major air force nations, are in need of new methods and equipment to ready aviators for the challenges of the new air domain, including the issue of preparing to fly and to engage with fifth generation fighters.

Van Dusen will be running an interactive workshop alongside deputy programme manager Mike Derespinis on how forces can generate an effective training syllabus for advanced pilot training, as well as a pre-conference overview specifically on the advancement of training capabilities through the acquisition of the T-X.

Also representing U.S. forces are Brigadier General Scott Vander Hamm, Director of Plans, Programmes and Assessment and Colonel Steven Gray, Chief of Flying Training Requirements at the Air Force’s Air Education Training Command (AETC); and Captain Chuck Hollingsworth, Chief of Staff of the Navy Air Training Command.

Richard de Silva Contributor:   Richard de Silva

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