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USAF releases RFP to replace ageing fleet of T-38 Talon training aircraft.

| 2017
World Defense & Security News - United States
USAF releases RFP to replace ageing fleet of T-38 Talon training aircraft
The US Air Force is well on its way to replacing the fifty-five year old T-38 with the December 30, 2016 release of the development request for proposal, or RFP, for the Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) program. "This comes after extensive dialogue with industry as part of our Cost Capability Analysis," said USAF Secretary Deborah Lee James.
A student pilot from the 80th Flying Training Wing assigned to the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot training (ENJJPT) program takes off at sunrise in a T-38 Talon Oct. 30, 2014, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
(Credit: USAF/Danny Webb)
"T-X is one of our beta cases for CCA which is one of our many BTCC initiatives. Our dialogues have clarified RFP requirements and saved tens of millions of dollars in development cost and risk while still ensuring we acquire capability needed to train our next generation of pilots," Deborah Lee James added.

The US Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) program will provide student pilots in Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) advanced phase and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) with the skills and competencies required to transition into 4th- and 5th-generation fighter aircraft. "Pilot training gaps widen and continue to do so every year as the service brings on more fifthgeneration aircraft," said Air Education and Training Command Commander Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson.

The release of the RFP follows receipt of an Acquisition Decision Memorandum, or ADM, signed by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics on December 5, 2016. This proposal solicitation is a full and open competition with an anticipated contract award in calendar year 2017, in support of Initial Operational Capability by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024, or earlier.

The $16.3 billion RFP includes all aspects of the system, including Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD), Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP), Full-Rate Production (FRP), and sustainment transition support. The RFP will lay the groundwork for delivery of the first five test aircraft. There are also contract options for LRIP lots #1-2, and FRP of lots #3-11 for a total of 350 aircraft.

In addition, provisions are included for ground support systems, such as training systems, mission planning and processing systems, support equipment and spares. "Our ability to get the most out of our fifth-generation aircraft depends on success in the Advanced Pilot Training program," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein. "In terms of both providing realistic, holistic training and reducing flying hours on our fifth-generation platforms, T-X is a program we've got to get right."


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