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Boeing may propose new trainer aircraft in $10 billion competition

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Sep. 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
September 30, 2009 2:08 pm

Boeing is mulling over whether to propose a new aircraft specifically designed to replace the Air Force’s fleet of 550 T-38 trainers.

That’s the word from Flight International which says the company may enter the $10 billion contest to replace the basic Air Force jet trainer with a new design.

The Air Force has expected only existing aircraft such as the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and the Korea Aerospace Industries-Lockheed Martin T-50 to enter the contest.

The M-346 is built in Italy. The T-50 is assembled in Korea.

A contract for hundreds of trainer aircraft would keep Boeing’s St. Louis factories busy for years. The aircraft built there now, the F-15 and F-18 fighters, are aging and will end their production in a few years.

The Air Force’s folo-on fighter, the F-35, is being built by Lockheed Martin.

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