Boeing sees significant potential in securing light attack and Aggressor sales for the T-X trainer aircraft it has developed with Saab, having factored the required growth capacity into the basic design of the aircraft.
Speaking at the company's St Louis facility in Missouri, Ted Torgerson, programme head for the T-X Advanced Pilot Training Program (ATP) said that, although the current focus is very much on delivering the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the US Air Force's (USAF) requirement, attention is being given to operational and additional training opportunities for the clean-sheet design.
"There is certainly growth for light attack and Aggressor development, with all the power and cooling requirements already designed into the airframe," Torgerson said, adding that locations for underwing hardpoints have been identified and that the necessary structures are already in place (although the wiring and plumbing is not).
Torgerson did not name potential future customers for the Boeing T-X (BTX), but he did note that it will be the combination of low cost and high capability that will draw them in. "Other light attack and trainer aircraft won't be able to touch us on cost - either procurement or through-life support. We will have all of the capability, but without the expense," he said, adding, "A lot of countries need an inexpensive [light attack] aircraft, and now the United States has one to offer."
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