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USAF seeks new Advanced Tactical Trainer aircraft

Despite ordering 351 T-7A Red Hawk (pictured) aircraft under its T-X requirement, the USAF has issued a request for information for at least 100 new aircraft under its Advanced Tactical Trainer requirement. It is unclear if it plans to use the Red Hawk or another type to fulfil this mission. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The US Air Force (USAF) is seeking a new advanced tactical trainer, with a request for information (RFI) for at least 100 aircraft issued on 12 October.

The Advanced Tactical Trainer (ATT) RFI posted on the US government procurement website calls for an aircraft that can perform three main functions: provide initial tactical training; provide β€˜red air' adversary air-to-air and air-to-ground training; and serve as a surrogate of existing and future tactical fighter aircraft in the USAF inventory. According to the RFI, the USAF plans to buy at least 100 aircraft, with subsequent lots of 50 aircraft.

Required specifications issued by the USAF note that the proposed ATT aircraft should be a tandem twin-seat design, with the option for a single-seat variant that allows for an unspecified alternate use of the rear seat, an open architecture avionics suite with large-area cockpit displays that can replicate the displays and systems of front-line aircraft, helmet-mounted display systems, hands-on throttle and stick pilot controls, single pylons under each wing that can carry weapons, fuel tanks, and/or electronic warfare/attack pods. Performance attributes include a high subsonic (Mach 0.9) top speed at 10,000 ft, a service ceiling of 45,000 ft, +7.5 g (sustained 6 g) structural limit, and a 90-minute endurance (including 30 minutes of tactical manoeuvring).

Responses to the RFI are due by 23 November, although no timeline was provided for an anticipated contract date or entry into service.

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