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Boeing and SAAB partner for T-X program

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posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 12:17 PM
Boeing and SAAB are expected to announce soon that they are partnering for the Air Force T-X program (if it ever happens). It's expected that they will offer the JAS 39 Gripen. They both expect that they can undercut the closest rival, the KAI T-50.

The T-X program is expected to begin again in 2015, and would acquire 350 training aircraft to replace the T-38 Talon. Originally it was announced that NG paired with BAE to offer the Hawk, GD had paired with Alenia to offer the M-346, and Boeing was going to offer an all new design.

Earlier this year the Swedish government announced that they were going to develop the JAS 39E. Their decision to order the aircraft is dependent on a referendum next year, but the program has moved along nicely towards development. The 39E is a single seat version, but the 39F two seat version is a logical progression.

The advantage to the JAS 39E is that it has a wide screen cockpit, similar to the F-35, a fully integrated helmet mounted display, and is expected to have an operating cost half that of the Typhoon and Rafale. It's also been pointed out that it would be good for aggressor training in the US.

Interestingly, a source close to the Air Force leadership also noted that it's a short step to a cheap air defense fighter to replace the Air National Guard F-15 and F-16 units.

Boeing has neither confirmed nor denied the team up, but it's expected an announcement will be given within a few weeks.

Boeing and Saab will announce “in weeks rather than months” that they will team up to offer the JAS 39 Gripen for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X future trainer requirement, according to sources familiar with the deal. Saab is apparently confident that the two companies will be able to undercut the cost of the closest rival contender, the Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50.

Other details of the deal are being closely held. The T-X program, aimed at acquiring some 350 trainers to replace the Northrop Grumman T-38, has been on hold due to budget cuts but is expected to restart in the 2015 budget.

The move is a major change to the line-up for the competition, for which Northrop Grumman has teamed with BAE Systems, offering the Hawk, and Alenia has joined forces with General Dynamics to promote the M-346.

Until now, Boeing had stated its intention to offer an all-new aircraft. However, a link with Saab became a possibility when the Swedish government launched development of the new JAS 39E version at the beginning of this year. Although the Swedish plan is formally contingent on Switzerland confirming its order for the fighter (in a referendum that is expected early next year), the Swiss deal has continued to pass milestones on the way to that decision. The JAS 39E is due to enter service in 2018.


posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:13 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Interesting. Especially the part about it possibly replacing the F-15 and F-16 of the national guard. What would they do with those? Decommission them, sell them?

posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:15 PM
reply to post by majesticgent

Most of them would end up at AMARG and put into storage in the Boneyard. Some would be destroyed, as they're actually past the original service life limits. Some would end up on static display, stripped down, on military bases and museums.


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