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BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman partner to compete for USAF T-X contract

USAF T-38 Talon aircraft (top left) and BAE Hawk T1.

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA (BNS): BAE Systems, Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corporation are planning a strategic partnership to compete in the US Air Force’s "T-X" programme for the replacement of the ageing T-38 trainer with BAE Systems' Hawk Advanced Jet Training System (AJTS).

Both the aerospace companies together will offer the Hawk AJTS, uniquely tailored to meet the needs of the US Air Force (USAF), manufactured in the United States, with the involvement of a strong US supply chain.

BAE Systems will prime this pursuit and Northrop Grumman will serve as the manufacturing partner for the new Hawk aircraft, according to a news release by BAE Systems.

"Northrop Grumman’s extensive background as the original equipment manufacturer of the T-38 Talon coupled with the company’s training expertise will make the Hawk AJTS – already a formidable offering – that much more competitive in this procurement," Larry Prior, Executive Vice President, Service Sectors, BAE Systems, was quoted as saying in the release.

The Hawk AJTS effectively integrates live and synthetic air and ground based elements to successfully train pilots for 5th generation fighters such as the F-35 Lightning II and the F-22 Raptor.

The T-X programme has been established to enable the United States Air Force to buy a new two-seat jet trainer for fast-jet training to replace the aging Northrop T-38 Talon, with the average age of the T-38 fleet being over 43.5 years.

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