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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The T-X design by Boeing and its partner Saab has been a closely guarded secret, but Defense News has an exclusive first look at concept art for the design.

As you can see, there isn’t all that much there — just the nose of the plane — but it largely conforms to the long nose design of the T-38, which the T-X will replace.

It’s a bit of a tease, but that lines up with how Boeing had handled press for AFA. The company has brought a trailer for the program, but has restricted access to VIPs — primarily service officials — and until now has resisted discussing or sharing any design details.

The T-X competition, which will replace the service's aging T-38 trainers with 350 new aircraft, has drawn serious interest from industry. In addition to the Boeing-Saab team, Lockheed Martin is teamed with KIA to offer the T-50, Northrop Grumman is offering a clean-sheet design and the Textron AirLand Scorpion is expected to compete.

General Dynamics was acting as the prime contractor and integrator for the T-100, a modified version of the M-346 trainer sold by Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi, until March when it withdrew from that partnership. Alenia is still searching for a US prime to join with to stay in the competition.

Email: amehta@defensenews.com

Twitter: @AaronMehta

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