Raytheon announced Monday that it is teaming up with Italian aircraft manufacturer Finmeccanica and two other companies in an effort to win a multi-billion dollar U.S. Air Force contract for training jets.
The winner of the Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training competition will build 350 training planes in 2017 under a contract that has an estimated value between $8 and $10 billion, according to Reuters.
Raytheon, the primary contractor for the effort, will work with Finmeccanica, Honeywell Aerospace, and simulation-based training system developer CAE USA to release a T-100 training solution. Finmeccanica will provide the foundational T-100 aircraft platform, a variant of the M-346 trainer aircraft built by Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aermacchi.
“The T-100 offers dynamic kinetic performance, while also delivering an embedded, tactical training system that immerses pilots in realistic mission scenarios,” said Filippo Bagnato, managing director of Finmeccanica Aircraft Division. “The M-346, the basis for the T-100, is already operational and preparing pilots around the world for the challenges of today’s complex fighter platforms.”
CAE USA will provide simulation-based training systems, while Honeywell Aerospace will build twinF F124 turbofan engines for the T-100.
Carey Smith, president of Honeywell Aerospace’s Defense and Space division, said the company’s F124 is a good fit for the plane due to its power, low cost throughout its life-cycle, and maintainability. Gene Colabatistto, president of CAE’s defense and security group, said that its simulation system will “prepare Air Force pilots to safely and efficiently fly the most advanced fighter aircraft.”
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems President Rick Yuse said that the next pilot training system will determine the success of America’s future pilots, and that the Raytheon-led group is “best positioned to bring the essential experience, capabilities and core competencies together to meet the United States Air Force’s mission requirements.”
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense