General Dynamics and Alenia Aermacchi are signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to compete jointly for the US Air Force's T-X trainer programme to replace the venerable Northrop T-38 Talon jet trainer. Under the agreement General Dynamics C4 Systems will serve as the prime contractor for a comprehensive training system based around Alenia's T-100, a variant of the company's M-346 Master jet trainer.
"This LOI brings together the world's best and most efficient pilot training system in the T-100 and a leading US prime defense contractor in General Dynamics," says Giuseppe Giordo, chief executive officer for Alenia Aermacchi. "The General Dynamics and Alenia Aermacchi team will present the most technologically advanced and affordable training solution for the US Air Force."
The two companies will hope to bid a package consisting of the aircraft, flight simulation devices, multi-media classrooms and logistics support. "Leveraging aircraft and systems that are already proven internationally saves significant development time and cost for the Air Force and includes an unprecedented level of safety for the trainees as they train and fly," says Jerry DeMuro, General Dynamics' executive vice president of information systems and technology.
General Dynamics will bring its proven experience in systems integration and sub-contract management to the team, the company says. The General Dynamics/Alenia team says their training system will be built in the United States with an emphasis on American-made components and equipment.