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Northrop T-X prototype revealed on Mojave runway

Northrop Grumman’s entry for the T-X competition was publicly revealed on 19 August in Mojave, California.

Dubbed the Model 400, the Northrop bid is powered by a single GE Aviation F404-102D engine, according to the US Federal Aviation Adminitration’s aircraft registration database.

Scaled Composites, the Northrop subsidiary devoted to rapid prototyping and flight testing, registered the aircraft on 16 June 2015, but the design was kept under wraps for several more months.

Images of the aircraft on Twitter show an aircraft with a prominent, single vertical fin and a nose section similar to the T-38.

Twitter excerpt:

Northrop revealed a model of the T-X concept to a small group of journalists in mid-December last year during a tour of the company’s plant in nearby Palmdale.

Northrop is one of four competitors vying to replace the company’s venerable T-38C as the US Air Force’s advanced jet trainer.

Raytheon is proposing the T-100 variant of the twin-jet Leonardo M346 Master. Lockheed Martin is offering a modified version of the Korea Aerospace/Lockheed single-engined T-50 Golden Eagle. Boeing has partnered with Saab to offer a clean-sheet design, which has not been revealed.

The USAF plans to buy more than 300 T-X aircraft over the next decade. A draft request for proposals was released to industry last month.

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