Northrop-Grumman Not Pursuing T-X Competition


Northrop-Grumman will not be submitting a bid for the U.S. Air Force T-X project to replace the T-38 Talon. In a statement released earlier this week, the company said “Northrop Grumman and its principal teammate BAE Systems have carefully examined the U.S. Air Force’s T-X Trainer requirements and acquisition strategy … [and] have decided not to submit a proposal for the T-X Trainer program.” BAE Systems is the manufacturer of the Hawk aircraft, from which the combined Northrop-Grumman/BAE T-X entrant was to have been developed.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing remain fully engaged in the competition, with both companies already flying production representative samples. Lockheed Martin has partnered with Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) to adapt the Korea KAI T-50 for the competition, and those companies announced their first flight in June 2016. Boeing has partnered with Saab to produce a clean-sheet design for the T-X, which t flew in December 2016. Although Sierra Nevada Corporation has shied away from publicly marketing their T-X entrant, Aviation Week reports that they remain in the competition in a partnership with Turkish Aerospace Industries with a prototype under construction.