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Second T-50A jet trainer completes flight test

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The T-50A jet trainer. A Lockheed photo

FORT WORTH (BNS): The Lockheed Martin-Korea Aerospace Industries-built T-50A trainer aircraft has successfully completed its flight test in Sacheon, South Korea.

The aircraft is one of the contenders in the US Air Force's T-X jet trainer programme.

"We now have two aircraft in flight test proving our upgrade, and we’re nearing completion of our assembly and training operations center in Greenville, South Carolina," said Doug Batista, Lockheed Martin T-50A programme manager.

"We're on track to provide the US Air Force with a production line and training capability on day one of contract award," he added.

The first T-50A configured aircraft had completed its initial flight test last month.

The T-50A is low risk and ready now. It builds on the proven heritage of the T-50 with more than 100 T-50s flying today, Lockheed said.

The USAF could need as many as 350 next-generation jet trainers under the T-X programme, having an estimated value of US$ 8 billion, to replace the Northrop-built T-38s which are in service since 1959 to train rookie pilots.

An RfP for the programme is likely to be issued in December this year followed by final contract award in 2017-18.

Other contenders for the contract include Boeing-SAAB team offering a newly designed aircraft; Northrop Grumman-BAE Systems team with a new aircraft; and Raytheon-Finmeccanica offering the T-100 jet which is an advanced variant of the Aermacchi M-346 aircraft.

Tags:

USAF  Jet Trainer  Lockheed  KAI  T 50A  
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