OF THE NINE original contenders for the T-38 avionics-upgrade programme, six remain. Lockheed Martin elected not to bid, later re-entering the competition by acquiring Loral, while teams led by Harris and Singapore Technologies Aerospace, were eliminated from contention by the USAF. The six remaining are:

Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems (now part of Raytheon E-Systems), an experienced aircraft-modification firm. Honeywell will provide avionics integration, Camber the simulators and AAI ESI logistic support.

Loral Federal Systems (now part of Lockheed Martin), an accomplished avionics integrator, with Dyncorp performing installation and Loral Quintron (also now part of Lockheed Martin) providing simulators;

McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, an aircraft and training-systems producer, with Israel Aircraft Industries' Lahav division, a specialist in upgrading combat aircraft, including the Northrop F-5;

Northrop Grumman, original manufacturer of the T-38, with EFW, the US subsidiary of experienced Israeli F-5 avionics-upgrade contractor Elbit, and Hughes Training, producer of the T-37 and T-38 simulators.

Rockwell International, led by its North American Aircraft Modification division and with its Collins unit providing avionics. The team includes UNC Lear Siegler, prime contractor for the Pacer Classic T-38 upgrade, Chesapeake providing system integration, Flight Visions, providing the HUD, and Raytheon Aircraft Services producing the logistic support.

Tracor, an aircraft-modification specialist: with Sierra Technologies, which has F-5 and T-38 avionics-upgrade experience, and Northrop Grumman's Electronic & Systems Integration division providing simulators.

The teaming agreements emphasise the systems-integration and logistics-support aspects of the programme. So far, teams have been reluctant to disclose their avionics suppliers, but several companies have made clear their interest in participating as subcontractors, among them Astronautics, BFGoodrich Aerospace, Fairchild Defense, GEC-Marconi Avionics, Kaiser Electronics, Kearfott Guidance & Navigation, Kollsman, Lear Astronics, Litton Guidance & Control, Magnavox, NavCom Defense Electronics, Rosemount and Smiths Industries.

Source: Flight International