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.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.