Boeing awarded $9.2 billion contract to build new Air Force trainer

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Boeing and Saab (saabf) have won an enormous contract with the U.S. Air Force, worth as much as $9.2 billion.

Instead, Boeing will receive a $9.2 billion contract to produce 351 T-X trainer jets, plus simulators and other equipment.

Boeing beat out Lockheed Martin and a Leonardo-CAE-Honeywell team to replace the USAF's ageing Northrop T-38 Talon trainers.

This new aircraft will provide the advanced training capabilities we need to increase the lethality and effectiveness of future Air Force pilots.

KAI sought for a joint bid for the U.S. T-X APT program where overall purchase could reach 1,000 jets given the average age of aircraft.

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Landing big defense contracts had been hard for Boeing, but Leanne Caret, the chief executive of Boeing's Defense, Space & Security since February 2016, has helped the company win more contracts.

On Monday, Boeing was awarded a job valued at as much as $2.38 billion for as many as 84 new helicopters to guard intercontinental ballistic missile sites in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota.

According to Defense News, the T-X trainer program is the third major victory for Boeing in a month. Those bases include Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB, Texas; Sheppard AFB, Texas and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.

The contract award for the Air Force's next-generation advanced pilot trainer is expected to be a boon for winners Boeing [BA] and its partner Saab, analysts said.

Before the Air Force announcement, aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia described T-X as "the last undecided USA military aircraft competition for many years to come".

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It's been a long race for the right to build the U.S. Air Force's next trainer jet, but the competition finally has a victor. Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Leonardo DRS, the USA -subsidiary of Italy's Leonardo, also competed for the contract.

The Air Force's original cost estimate for the T-X program was $19.7 billion.

Work on the contract is mostly expected to be done in St. Louis, Mo., though the company said about 90 percent of the T-X will be made in the USA, with production supporting about 17,000 jobs in 34 states. CAFB will receive a new line of trainer jets to replace the almost 60-year-old T38.

Lockheed Martin offered to build a modified T-50 training jet, which was developed with Korea Aerospace Industries. We at The War Zone have already noted that the size of T-X program could attract additional buyers, either in the form of USA allies or private contracts.

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