To celebrate my newfound posting privileges (thanks Party-vi), along with the fact I’m up too early and my internet is broken, have some planes:

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On Sunday I saw Boeing was running ads for their T-X entrant, so I thought I’d look at what everyone is doing there. The T-X competition is a USAF program to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon, which has been in service as America’s primary fighter trainer for over half a century.

Photo Credit: Tech. Sgt. Matthew Hannen/US Air Force

Compared to the T-38 the new aircraft will be required support aerial refuelling, a more advanced avionics suite to better prepare pilots for flying the F-22 and F-35, and to be more fuel efficient and cheaper to operate.

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The program is expected to award a contract towards the end of 2017, with initial operating capacity sometime around 2023. There are currently four contenders actively pursuing the contract: Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop, and Raytheon (Textron had previously put forward a proposal but withdrew it after it became clear it would not meet the performance requirements. it is unclear if they will enter a new design).

Here are the aircraft being considered:

Lockheed Martin/KAI T-50 Golden Eagle

 

Boeing/Saab T-X

Northrop Grumman/Scaled Composites Model 400

Raytheon/Leonardo T-100