Boeing Secures $9.2 Billion Contract to Build Training Jets for Air Force

Boeing has secured a massive $9.2 billion contract to build training jets for the U.S. Air Force. Last month, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced that it was partnering with the aerospace manufacturing giant to build 350 Boeing T-X jets, which will replace the Air Force’s existing T-38C jets. Market analysts say that it was only a matter of time until the Air Force replaced the T-38C jets, as they’ve been in service for more than a half-century.

Neither the T-38C nor the Boeing T-X are fighter jets, however. Rather, they are designed specifically for training. Air Force pilots will fly the jets during training missions so that they become better accustomed to the weapons and navigation systems used in actual fighter jets.

First taking off on Dec. 20, 2016, the Boeing T-X is an advanced training jet developed by Boeing, Space & Security and the Saab Group. It features a single engine with a twin tail and tandem seating. The T-X also has retractable landing gear, and it’s powered by a General Electric F404 turbofan engine. The twin tails, however, are one of the training jet’s most impressive features, as it allows the T-X to remain more stable even during turbulent flight conditions. According to Wikipedia, Boeing has build two T-X units to day. That’s expected to change, though, as Boeing is now preparing to build 350 T-X units for the Air Force as per the aerospace manufacturing giant’s recent contract.

Of course, Boeing wasn’t alone in the race to win the Air Force’s contract. The Air Force was reportedly considering Lockheed Martin as well. “We were disappointed to learn that the U.S. Air Force did not select our offering. We believe we presented a very strong solution and await the customer’s debrief to hear more details regarding the decision,” said Lockheed Martin in response to the Air Force’s decision to choose Boeing.

Boeing remains the global leader in the aerospace manufacturing industry, partly because of its ability to secure contracts with military branches like the Air Force. Earlier this year, Boeing scored an $805 million contract to build a next-generation refueling drone for the Navy. Shortly thereafter, it won another contract, valued at $2.4 billion, to build new helicopter replacements for the Air Force’s UH-1N helicopter fleet. This latest contract is just one more way that Boeing is establishing dominance in the aerospace manufacturing industry.

You can learn more about the Air Force’s recent partnership with Boeing by visiting the official DOD website here.