NINE COMPANIES have expressed interest in bidding for the US Air Force's Northrop T-38 Talon avionics upgrade. A final request for proposals is expected on 13 October, leading to the March 1996 award of an engineering and manufacturing development contract to modify two aircraft and produce two aircrew training-devices.

The nine companies planning to bid as prime contractors are: Chrysler Technologies, Harris, Lockheed Martin, Loral, McDonnell Douglas (MDC), Northrop Grumman, Rockwell, Singapore Aerospace and Tracor.

Plans call for the upgrade of 425 aircraft, but production options will cover 665 aircraft and 50 training devices, plus logistic support.

Northrop Grumman has teamed with avionics supplier EFW, a US subsidiary of Israel's Elbit and simulator supplier Hughes Training. Loral Federal Systems, has joined sister company Loral Quintron (simulators) and DynCorp (aircraft modification), MDC has teamed with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI); and Rockwell's North American division with Flight Visions (head-up display).

Source: Flight International