Boeing wins $9.2B Air Force contract for T-X jets

T-X training jets
The U.S. Air Force has selected the Boeing T-X advanced pilot training system, which features an all-new aircraft designed, developed and flight-tested by Boeing and Saab. (Boeing Photo / John Parker)

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a contract worth up to $9.2 billion for a new fleet of T-X training jets that it originally thought would cost twice as much.

In today’s announcement, the Air Force said the deal covers the purchase of 351 T-X aircraft, 46 simulators and the associated ground equipment to replace its 57-year-old fleet of T-38 Talon training jets. There’s an option to raise the purchase to up to 475 jets and 120 simulators.

The original service cost estimate was $19.7 billion for 351 aircraft, the Air Force said.

“This new aircraft will provide the advanced training capabilities we need to increase the lethality and effectiveness of future Air Force pilots,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a news release. “Through competition we will save at least $10 billion on the T-X program.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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